NMGW-3D1996: Medieval silver finger-ring

Rights Holder: National Museum Wales
CC License: All Rights Reserved

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Unique ID: NMGW-3D1996

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Silver finger ring in the form of a decorated band, tapering away from bezel. The decoration, which extends all along the external face, has been first engraved and then inlaid with niello (now only partially preserved, but represented by dark material in parts of the engraved design). Three quadrangular panels of ornament with single line borders, are each separated by fields of multiple engraved lines (wrigglework); similar narrow fields at each end are differ in having open outer borders (i.e. not closed by an engraved line).

Maximum band width 9mm; minimum band width 4.4mm; maximum band thickness 0.8mm; internal diameter 19mm; weight 3.5g

The ring is of twelfth-century date. Parallels include one from the Lark Hill hoard, Worcester (buried c. 1173-4) and examples of casual loss from Llanfaes, Anglesey (NMW acc. no. 96.1H/8); Tre-gof, near St Hilary Down (NMW acc. no. 93.30H), Llanbleddian, near Cowbridge (NMW acc. no. 96.11H), two from Caldicot (TAR 1999), and one from Carew, Pembrokeshire (Treasure Reference No. 08.11).


Analysis to ascertain the elemental composition of the artefacts was carried out using a CamScan MaXim 2040 analytical scanning electron microscope (SEM), plus an Oxford Instruments Link Isis energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX). The object was examined whole within the specimen chamber and was analysed for 100 live seconds using a working distance of 35mm and an accelerating voltage of 20kV. Where possible, areas of metal exposed from under the surface corrosion were analysed; this occurred when the object was excavated. Apart from very superficial surface swabbing of the artefact there was usually no further sample preparation. All the results presented are semi-quantitative. Overall totals taken from minimally prepared surfaces are usually affected to some degree by the surface geometry of the artefacts, including factors such as curvature, pitting and indentations etc. Other factors that can also affect the results include surface oxidation, surface enrichment or depletion of certain elements, contamination from closely adhering dirt, and preferential corrosion.

Three separate readings were taken from the object, and the majority of the overall totals acquired were relatively low due to the factors described above. The results were normalised to 100% to obtain consistency between the readings and to make the analyses comparable with other results.

Average composition
Silver: 97%
Copper: 2.8%
Traces of lead and copper.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014TW14


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1100
Date to: Circa AD 1200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 9 mm
Thickness: 0.8 mm
Weight: 3.5 g
Diameter: 19 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 11th December 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Mark Redknap
Identified by: Mr Mark Lodwick

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2014TW14

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
District: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Llancarfan (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST0371
Four figure Latitude: 51.42967301
Four figure longitude: -3.39667083
1:25K map: ST0371
1:10K map: ST07SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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