SOM-8FCC98: Roman finger ring

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: SOM-8FCC98

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

Roman gold finger ring with a simple D-shaped hoop widening and thickening at the shoulders to the bezel which has an open lozenge shaped hole in the centre to hold a stone or intaglio, now missing. The shoulders and bezel have been formed of a flattened area of gold the long sides of which have been rolled inwards, to meet in the middle on the shoulders and to clasp the missing stone. The shoulders and bezel are thus hollow and the edges of the setting for the stone rough and slightly irregular where the edge has been pushed over the edge of the stone to hold it.

The ring has been squashed with the hoop badly distorted and a tear into the hollow shoulders on one side. It is possible the hole at the bezel to hold the stone was originally more oval and has been distorted as it is now torn to one side.

The ring is now a maximum of 25.4mm long, 10.5mm wide and 6.2mmm thick, 1.6mm wide by 1.0mm thick at the back of the hoop and 10.5mm wide by 3.5mm thick at the bezel; it weighs 1.64 grams.

The rolled form of the hoop is paralleled by a gold finger ring from West Berkshire (Treasure case 2009 T306, LON-AB8382) which is paralleled in the report to a copper-alloy arm-ring from Augst (Riha 1990, 62, 145, Taf. 22, 598) and dated from the 1st to the 4th centuries. Although that ring has no opening at the bezel.

Treasure case 1998 T26 (WILT-65BD43) also featured a Roman gold ring with a hollow rolled bezel, although in that case formed of three rolled tubes side by side, each with similar openings for the stone to this piece and lines of granulation. C. Johns suggested on that Treasure report that the hollows centres were probably packed with a sulphur material to hold the gem, an technique seen on fourth century hollow rings from the Thetford Treasure (Johns & Potter 1983, nos 17 and 19) although hollow but not rolled rings are also known from the 1st and 2nd centuries (e.g. Treasure case 2014 T147, KENT-2E54D3 and Treasure case 2009 T426, BH-58E8E6).

Consequently, in terms of age, as it is likely to be over 300 years old at the date of finding, and as the object contains a minimum of 10% precious metal it qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2015T276


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 25.4 mm
Width: 10.5 mm
Thickness: 6.2 mm
Weight: 1.64 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Laura Burnett
Identified by: Ms Laura Burnett

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2015T276

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: West Dorset (District)
To be known as: Bradford Abbas CP

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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