SWYOR-18E230: Post Medieval posy finger ring

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
CC License:

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: SWYOR-18E230

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A gold Post Medieval posy ring inscribed: "vertue passeth riches", dating from the 17th century. The ring is a shallow D-shape in section. The outer face is plain. The interior bears an inscription in italics reading: " * Vertue passeth riches x " (i.e. Virtue surpasses riches). The V and e of Vertue are ornamented, the Ss in passeth are long and the h in riches has a looped ascender, joining to the c. There is no maker's mark nor hallmark. The ring has an internal diameter of 17.44mm, Externally it is 20.6mm diameter, 4.8mm wide, 1.1mm thick, and weighs 3.59g.

A very similar object is LIN-33D707 which notes that: "The ring is almost identical to one discovered at Brokenborough, Wiltshire (2003 T223). There are four posy rings within the British Museum's collection with the same inscription, although no spelling variant is identical to this particular ring. Two of these rings have a maker's mark which can be dated pre 1714:

1961,1202.366; same mark on mourning ring of 1668

1961,1202.368: appears on mark plate of 1682-97

The inscription is noted by Joan Evans in her book 'English Posies and Posy Rings' (p.105). This refers to a ring in the V&A's collection (385-1864), listed in Charles Oman's 1930 catalogue of rings (cat. no. 684).


As the ring is more than 300 years old, and made of gold, it appears to meet the requirements of the 1996 Treasure Act.

Inscription: * Vertue passeth riches x

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014T646


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1600
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 4.8 mm
Thickness: 1.1 mm
Weight: 3.59 g
Diameter: 20.6 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 7th September 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Amy Downes
Identified by: Ms Amy Downes
Secondary identifier: Ms Judy Rudoe

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2014T646

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Yorkshire (County)
District: Selby (District)
Parish or ward: Bilbrough (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SE5347
Four figure Latitude: 53.91644288
Four figure longitude: -1.19456833
1:25K map: SE5347
1:10K map: SE54NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: YS Outing
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: LIN-33D707
Object type: FINGER RING
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
A gold post-medieval posy ring with a D-shaped band. The exterior is undecorated. The interior bears an inscription in italics reading vertue…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: GLO-57B4F5
Object type: RING
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
~~Gold Posy ring with a D-shape cross-section hoop. The flat inside is engraved with the inscription 'Vertu Passeth Riches x'. The outside cu…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: LON-43C1F0
Object type: FINGER RING
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
A Post Medieval gold memento mori finger ring dated 1668. The finger ring has a D-shaped cross-section and it is decorated with an engraved …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.