He Spent 18 Months Digging for Gold so He Could Make a Wedding Ring


When explosives technician John Greenwood decided that he wanted to marry his physiotherapist girlfriend, he reckoned that it will be too easy to go buy a ring from a jewelry store.

See video at the end


So instead, he decided to pan the gold for the engagement and wedding rings himself. For three months from September to December 2011, he was knee-deep in the upper reaches of the Highland rivers in Scotland, panning for gold for his true love—and ending up a winner.

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John shared, “I was driven by it. They talk about gold fever. I was panning for gold in my dreams. Some days I’d be camping next to the river and I’d start as soon as the sun was up, and carry on for 14 or 15 hours. Everybody says I must have beginner’s luck to find so much but I was out there every weekend and in the evenings in freezing cold water. I reckon I spent about 20 full days getting enough for the engagement ring.”

The months of digging gave John 34 g worth of gold flakes, dust, and a small nugget that became enough for the Mull of Kintyre goldsmith to melt, shape, and embed with diamonds.

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When he got engaged to his girlfriend, Morag Shearer, the following Christmas Day, he went back River Tay and the Highland Boundary Fault and began panning for more gold. Over 18 months, he managed to pan almost 70 g worth for their wedding bands.

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