A gold Tudor finger ring with white enamel decoration on an orange carnelian stone has been found in Cornwall. Discovered by metal detectorist Paul Walls on private land belonging to Tim Kendall near Mevagissey in June 2021, the gold ring is said to date back to 1,500 to 1,600 AD.
The white enamel intaglio – or incision – on the stone represents a bearded male figure in profile or possibly a Roman God, like Hercules. There are also zig-zag markings on the stone. At a treasure inquest held in Truro yesterday (Thursday, January 18), a curator’s report by Cornwall’s finds liaison officer Tasha Fullbrook, revealed how the ring, which was discovered damaged and squashed, had been reworked and resized during its period of use.
She said that there were not many comparable rings like this one on the British Museum’s Portable Anquitities Scheme database apart from one dating to the 17th century with a female figure in profile incised on the stone, another bearded male intaglio ring from the 16th century and another ring found as part of the Cheapside Hoard – the greatest single collection of Elizabethan and Stuart jewellery in the world.
The ring, measuring 16.8mm in length, three millimetres in width, 1.5mm thick and weighing 3.78g was declared treasure by assistant coroner for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Guy Davies because it contains more than 10 per cent of precious metal, namely gold and is more than 300 years old.
The ring will now be acquired by the Museum of Cornish Life in Helston. In Cornwall, all treasures belong to the Duchy of Cornwall as a franchisee of the Crown unless disclaimed by the Crown.