Sunday, April 21, 2024

Islands on the market

Scotland: Could This Be The Only Private Island to Win Olympic Gold?

The Scottish private island responsible for the production of the curling stones used at this year’s Winter Olympic Games has been put up for sale with an asking price of GBP 1.5 million.

Ailsa Craig - Courtesy of Vladi Private Islands

Ailsa Craig – Courtesy of Vladi Private Islands

A tiny, uninhabited island located some ten kilometers from the British mainland is once again going for gold at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi and could well form the Great Britain’s biggest hope of another Olympic medal.

Located on Scotland’s western coast, in the middle of the Firth of Clyde, Ailsa Craig is the result of an ancient volcano – a huge dome of dark rock which looms ominously above the depths of the River Clyde, dominating the local seascape.

Despite being having no inhabitants, no electricity, no fresh water and no arable land, the island’s volcanic beginnings allow Ailsa Craig to well and truly stand out from the pack. Indeed, the unusual island’s geological formation has catapulted the island into gold medal position when it comes to the production of Olympic standard curling stones.

As well as looking a little bit like a curling stone, the island forms home to three rare strains of granite – Ailsa Craig Common Green, Ailsa Craig Blue Hone and Ailsa Craig Red Hone – which, thanks to their distinctive characteristics are all valued amongst curling circles. The impermeable blue-hone micro-granite is a particular rarity, forming the only truly effective material for a stone’s running edge.

Fans of the sport will also be interested to know that the 245 acre private island is currently available to purchase for the incredible price of GBP 1.5 million via international island consultancy Vladi Private Islands. Ailsa Craig’s curling tradition is set to continue long after the sale of the island, with Ayrshire-based Kay of Scotland securing the exclusive mining rights for at least the next 9 years.

Some 2,500 tons of granite were extracted from Ailsa Craig last year, some of which was used to produce each of the 66 iconic stones featuring at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, guaranteeing a gold medal for the tiny island. According to the island’s broker, Farhad Vladi, Ailsa Craig is “the only island to have won a gold medal in the Olympic Games” – no mean feat for an uninhabited island with a circumference of only two miles!

To read more about the incredible island of Ailsa Craig, head over to our friends at Vladi Private Islands.

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