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23 April 2003
3,000-year-old gold ring found in Wales

A 3,000-year-old gold ring has been found by a metal detector enthusiast in Wales. Swansea and Gower Coroner Richard Morgan declared the Bronze Age "hair ring," discovered by 38-year-old Nigel Powell in Swansea Bay, was officially Treasure Trove and belonged to the Government. The coroner suggested the compensation fee payable to Mr Powell and landowners Swansea City and County Council should be split evenly. It is thought the delicate, gold-foil covered copper ring - which dates back to the 10th or 11th Century BCE - will eventually be valued at around 3,000.
     Finds of such rings are extremely rare and it is thought the piece of jewellery may have belonged to a person of wealth and influence, such as a Bronze Age chieftain or possibly a princess. Historians believe the rings, only occasionally found in Scotland, Ireland, England, and the Low Countries and rarely in Wales, were used as hair adornments and also as money. Mr Powell, of The Crescent, Crynant, Neath, who has been a metal detector enthusiast for two years, discovered the ring last year at a point on the Swansea foreshore opposite Brynmill Park. It was discovered in around 15cm of clay.
     Adam Gwillt, Pre-historian at the National Museum and Gallery of Wales in Cardiff where the ring is now held, said there had only been two similar rings ever discovered in Wales, one in Gwynedd and the other at Port Eynon on Gower. Mr Gwilt said the ring contained intricate decoration and had probably originally been dropped in a peat bog.

Source: The Western Mail (26 March 2003)

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