A 'LORD of the Rings' style gold ring is among the items found in Powys which have been declared treasure.

Eight metal detector finds, ranging in date from the 8th century to the early 18th century AD, have been declared treasure by Assistant Coroner for South Wales Central, Rachel Knight.

These objects were all discovered by members of the public and reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme Wales (PAS Cymru).

The eight finds include:

  • Four silver coins dating to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, found in Llywel Community, Powys
  • A 17th-century silver-gilt medallion, found in Brecon, Powys
  • A 17th-century silver-gilt ring, found in Glyn Tarell, Powys
  • An early 18th-century gold ring, found in Caersws, Powys

Four silver sixpences from the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603), were found by Richard Small and Jamie Williams, while out metal-detecting in Llywel, in 2017. The coins were found close together, so it is likely that they were originally buried as a single group, which has since been disturbed by recent farming activity.

Alastair Willis, Senior Curator of Numismatics and the Welsh Economy at Amgueddfa Cymru said: “Four sixpences from this period represents about four days’ pay for a farm labourer.

"Although it doesn’t sound like a huge amount of money to us, it might have been quite a significant sum to the owner of the coins. In terms of purchasing power at the time, one sixpence could have bought you three loaves of bread, or about four gallons of beer.”

A silver-gilt medallion was found by Ms S Washington in Brecon in August 2017. On one side it shows the profile of Charles I (1625-1649) and on the other are the royal arms and the motto of the Order of the Garter, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (‘Shame on him who thinks evil of it’).

The medallion may have been worn by a prominent supporter of the crown during the Civil Wars, or as a memento of the king after his execution in January 1649. As such, it would have to have been worn secretly, as Royalists were persecuted by the Parliamentarian regime. The badge is the first of its kind to have been discovered in Wales.

A 17th century silver-gilt posy ring was found by Mr S Rolls while metal-detecting in Glyn Tarell, in October 2014. The ring is plain on the outside, but contains an inscription on the inner face which reads, ‘NOT VALV BVT VIRTV’ (‘Not Value but Virtue’). Posy rings were often exchanged by lovers, the hidden words on the inside acting a secret message between the couple.

An early 18th century mourning ring, which would have been given in memory of a deceased loved-one, was found by metal-detectorist Mr G Gwilt, in Caersws, in November 2018.

The ring is decorated on the outside with an engraved skull, which was filled with white enamel, most of which has now worn away. Inside is the inscription ‘V P obt 26 Jan 1711 aet 3’ (‘V. P. died 26 January 1711, aged 3’). Another letter appears at the beginning of the inscription, but it is difficult to read as the ring may have been altered in the past by its owner.

The Saving Treasures; Telling Stories project, grant funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is hoping to acquire these objects on behalf of Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery, Powysland Museum, the Museum of Cardiff and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.