NMGW-85DD22: Medieval gold finger ring

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: NMGW-85DD22

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Medieval gold finger ring probably of late 13th to 14th century date The finger ring is complete with a distorted, flattened hoop. The circumference of the hoop suggests the ring had a diameter of approximately 16mm. The hoop has a width of 1.5mm and a thickness of 0.8mm near the base and is of flat section. The shoulders are decorated with a punched lozenge motif containing a central punched pellet and separated by punched marks at both sides. The shoulders are of sub-triangular section with a width and thickness near the bezel of 2.7mm and 1.8mm respectively. The hoop joins the solid sub-rectangular bezel (7.35mm x 5.65mm) at its base. The longer axis of the bezel is at right angles to the hoop. The bezel is plain and has a depth of 3.59mm with straight sides, which converge slightly towards the base of the bezel. The cabochon stone setting protrudes 1.45mm above the bezel, giving the bezel an overall height of 5.04mm. The stone is tear-shaped and rounded. The surface of the ring is a little worn. The ring weighs 2.2g. Non-destructive analysis to ascertain the elemental composition of the ring was carried out by Mary Davis using a CamScan MaXim 2040 analytical scanning electron microscope (SEM), plus an Oxford Instruments Link Isis energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX). Three semi-quantitative readings were taken from the gold and further readings from the stone setting. The gold composition in the finger ring was between 93 and 95% with 4 to 6% silver and 1 to 2% copper. The stone setting was shown to mostly contain the elements of iron, silicon and aluminium, probably in the form of Iron Aluminium Silicate Fe3Al2(SiO4)3, representing an almandine garnet. The finger ring is difficult to closely parallel, a gold finger ring with rectangular bezel containing a rectangular almandine garnet is recorded by Egan & Pritchard (1991, pp 327, No. 1612) and was recovered from a mid to late 14th century context. Egan & Pritchard (ibid.) state that the comparative frequency of gold finger rings containing small cabochon garnets in the Museum of London collections implies that they were likely to have been relatively cheap and popular.


The finger ring was found in c. 1990 and before the introduction of the Treasure Act in 1997 and therefore is unlikely to constitute Treasure under the 1997 Treasure Act

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1270
Date to: Circa AD 1400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 2.7 mm
Thickness: 1.8 mm
Weight: 2.2 g
Diameter: 16 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st January 1990

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMGWPA 2005.201.1

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Garnet
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Carmarthenshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Carmarthenshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Llangeler (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SN4037
Four figure Latitude: 52.008308
Four figure longitude: -4.332574
1:25K map: SN4037
1:10K map: SN43NW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Egan, G. and Pritchard, F. 1991 Dress Accessories, c.1150-c.1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London) (1991) London Stationery Office Books

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 16 years ago
Updated: 11 years ago

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