PAS-CF6701: Treasure case 2012 T145, early medieval gold bead from Burmington, Warwickshire

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Unique ID: PAS-CF6701

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: A gold biconical bead from a necklace, made from a single coiled length of plain unbeaded wire. Both ends of the wire appear original; one is neatly tapered and the other has a blunter end. The coils are soldered together, but there does not appear to be an internal backplate to which the wire is soldered, as there are occasional cracks through which the solid soil infilling can be seen.

The bead is slightly flattened lengthways and there is an indentation on one side.

Dimensions: It measures 12mm in length and 5mm at its widest, and weighs 1.9g.

Discussion: This type of bead is well known from necklaces dating to the second half of the seventh century (Geake 1997, 43). Similar examples, also of plain unbeaded wire, are found on the necklace from Finglesham grave 7 (Hawkes and Grainger 2006), but beaded-wire examples are perhaps more common, with finds on the PAS database including the beads from Rowington, Warwickshire (PAS-2B1E44; 2002/T95) and North Down, Kent (KENT-7009B3; 2003/T207; Treasure Annual Report 2003, no.94, p.72, fig.94.2, p.214). A biconical bead of slightly different shape, but using largely unbeaded plain gold wire, is recorded on the PAS database at SF-40CB01 (2009T344).

Date: c. 650-c. 700 AD.

Update: another bead made from unbeaded gold wire, this time of very pale gold, is recorded at NMS-6F95B0 (2013T15).


As the object is made of more than 10% precious metal and is over 300 years old, it constitutes potential Treasure under the Treasure Act 1996.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2012T145


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 650
Date to: Circa AD 700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 12 mm
Width: 5 mm
Weight: 1.9 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 15th January 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Caroline Barton
Identified by: Ms Sara Wear
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2012T145

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Warwickshire (County)
District: Stratford-on-Avon (District)
To be known as: Burmington

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: on cultivated land "1/2 deep"
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: NMS-6F95B0
Object type: BEAD
Description: Early Anglo-Saxon biconical gold bead made from a single spiral of plain unbeaded wire which measures c. 0.4-0.5mm in diameter. …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: SF-40CB01
Object type: BEAD
A complete biconical gold bead from a 7th-century necklace. It is hollow, and made from a single length of coiled unbeaded gold wire with sep…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: LIN-18EEC1
Object type: NECKLACE
Four gold items of Anglo-Saxon jewellery dating to the seventh century AD, all probably from a single necklace which has in turn probably com…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: PAS
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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