ESS-F5FC15: Medieval Gold Finger Ring

Rights Holder: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
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Rights Holder: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
CC License:

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Unique ID: ESS-F5FC15

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A complete gold finger ring with a hexagonal faceted bezel and an irregular and possibly repurposed sapphire cabochon setting. The band is D-shaped in section and the outer surface is incised with a decorative linear and circular motif. On approximately one half of the length of the outer band surface, the decoration takes the form of crossed lines forming diamomd shapes and containing small circular markings or pellets, with a line of these circular marks located below the collar of the ring on one side of the bezel cup. The other half of the outer ring band decoration transforms into a 'zig-zag' linear patterning, with the small circular pellets now being arranged in lines between the linear incisions.

The bezel cup is hexagonal in plan and is faceted, with the upper half sloping and being slightly concave and the lower half being flat. The underside of the bezel cup is flat.

The cabochon is dark blue and is likely a sapphire. It shows evidence of two indents or drilled portions which could suggest that the setting was repurposed and could have been used previously as another setting or even a gem bead.

The inner ring band is plain. Overall, the item is in excellent condition.

It is likely c. 13th to 14th century, based on stylistic similarities with other rings of this date.

Dimensions: weight: 3.96g, external diameter: 21.96mm, internal diameter: 19.36mm, band thickness: 1.38mm, bezel width: 11.97mm, bezel height (inc setting): 6.57mm, length (from top of bezel to bottom of hoop): 25.99m

Discussion: There are numerous examples of similar rings which fall under the Treasure Act on the PAS database, though none feature the decorative incisions on the outer ring band. For similar rings in overall style, see LEIC-C03C23 (2012T245), KENT-470813 (2010T609). For a similar bezel shape see BH-3AACB0 (2013T696). For somewhat similar incised decoration see WAW-BA7F06. All of these rings have been dated to the medieval period, c. 13th - 14th century


Conclusion: In terms of age and as the object contains a minimum of 10% precious metal, it qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

This item was declared Treasure at an Inquest held on 04.05.2017. Valued by the Treasure Valuation Committee on 03.10.17 at £7,000.

It was acquired by Epping Forest District Museum and is currently on display (16.05.2018)

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T93


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Exactly AD 1200
Date to: Circa AD 1300

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 25.99 mm
Width: 11.97 mm
Thickness: 1.38 mm
Weight: 3.96 g
Diameter: 21.94 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Sophie Flynn
Identified by: Ms Sophie Flynn

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2017T93

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Incised or engraved or chased

Spatial data

No spatial data available.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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