Medieval gold ring among treasure found on Gower
Two treasure finds, including a medieval gold finger-ring and a post-medieval silver seal-matrix have been found on the Gower Peninsula.
The items were officially declared treasure on Monday (25 September) by the Assistant Coroner for Swansea and Neath-Port Talbot, Aled Gruffydd.
The gold finger-ring was discovered by Kieran Slade while metal-detecting on arable farmland in Port Eynon, Swansea in March 2021.
The cast gold ring has an octagonal hollow bezel, with the remains of a dark red cabochon stone setting, probably garnet.
The ring can be dated to the 13th or 14th centuries AD, based upon its style and making technique.
Sian Iles, Curator of Medieval and Later Archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales said:
“Thanks to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act 1996, finds such as this medieval gold ring with an intact cabochon setting are recorded and saved for wider public benefit, contributing greatly to our growing understanding of fashions and expressions of personal identity in medieval Wales.”
Swansea Museum has shown interest in acquiring the find following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.
A 17th century silver seal matrix was discovered by Gwyn Thomas while metal-detecting in a field under pasture in Llangennith, Swansea in November 2020.
A seal matrix was used for making an impression on a wax seal, to authenticate a document or to keep it closed.
The find was first reported to Peter Reavill, then Finds Liaison Officer for Shropshire and Herefordshire for the Portable Antiquities Scheme and was then transferred to Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales for treasure reporting in Wales.
The silver fob seal has an oval shaped face, is engraved with entwined pentafoils and inscribed with the initials of the original owner H M.
The outer edge has a beaded border. The end of the fob has a suspension ring for hanging from a chain or fabric tie.
Swansea Museum is interested in acquiring the find, following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.
Emma Williams, Collections & Access Officer at Swansea Museum said: “These finds will make a really wonderful addition to the museum’s collections and will help us to tell more of Swansea’s story. We look forward to putting them on display for everyone to enjoy.”
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