|22 December 2011
Neolithic jade ring returned to Jersey
One of the Jerseys's most valuable archeological treasures, an extremely rare jade ring, has been returned to the island - a British Crown Dependency off the coast of France. The Neolithic polished stone was thought to have been lost to the island in 1993, when it was sold to a private collector. But the Societe Jersiaise received a donation from one of its members towards an auction bid.
Together with Jersey Heritage and the support of archeologists at the Prehistoric Society, the British Museum and the Centre National de la Reserche Scientifique France, they managed to buy it at a Christies Auction in New York earlier this month, for $17,500. It will now be returned to the island where it will go on show, first at Jersey Museum and then La Hougue Bie.
The ring, which was discovered in 1986 is made from stone, quarried high in the Alps. It was one of the few highly valued objects brought to the island by the first colonising farmers more than 7000 years ago.
Curator of Archaeology at Jersey Heritage, Olga Finch, said: "The jadeite ring is one of the finest in Western Europe and I'm thrilled this important part of our heritage is coming back for everyone to enjoy. It's incredible to think that as an important symbol of power and prestige, this beautiful stone ring passed hand to hand from its source in the Alps all the way to Jersey, 7,000 years ago. The skills and craftsmanship involved in making it demonstrates just how sophisticated our Neolithic ancestors were."
Edited from Channel Online TV (16 December 2011)
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