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Future games trophy fashioned from Scottish gold

SCOTTISH gold panned from a remote site which once sparked a rush by 19th-century prospectors will be used to form part of a trophy for all future Commonwealth Games.

Around six grams of the rare metal, panned from the Kildonan Burn, near Helmsdale, in Sutherland, are being moulded to the shape of the official Glasgow 2014 logo by a skilled jeweller. It will be permanently attached to the David Dixon Award, which is presented by the Commonwealth Games Federation at every Games.

The award is given to a single athlete chosen from the thousands who compete in the Commonwealth Games and is based on their performance, spirit of fair play and overall contribution to their team.

Previous winners include Jamaican triple jumper Trecia Smith (2010), Indian shooter Samaresh Jung (2006) and South African swimmer Natalie du Toit (2002).

The gold was gathered from the burn at Baile an Or - Gaelic for "Town of Gold" - at the site of Scotland's only gold rush of 1868, which was sparked when a local man, Robert Gilchrist, first found a nugget in the water.

More than 600 prospectors subsequently made their way to the Strath of Kildonan by the spring of 1869 in search of their fortune.

Up to £22,000 of the precious metal was discovered during a two-year frenzy before the Duke of Sutherland cleared the miners off his land, following complaints from farmers they were cutting into grazing land for sheep.

The Queen's Baton for the Commonwealth Games also features materials sourced from Scotland, with elm wood from the Isle of Cumbrae used to make the handle and granite sourced from Ailsa Craig used to make a "gemstone" at the top.

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