This is a rare Middle Bronze Age gold 'lock-ring', dating to circa 1600 - 1400 B.C. This item would have acted as a single link in a regal chain or royal collar. These 'lock-rings' were used as a form of currency for trade (a precursor to Celtic Ring-Money). Similar 'lock-rings' can be seen in the British Museum. I have a small group from an English private collection (see the last photograph). Each lockring could be attached to other pieces to form a long chain, each unit could then be removed and traded or gifted as a means on largess in a Clan setting. Most examples are single finds but occasionally found buried in hoards strung together. Rare and interesting!
CULTURE: Middle Bronze Age
DATE: c. 1600 - 1400 B.C.
SIZE: 23.30mm x 14.94mm x 11.72mm
WEIGHT: 4.12 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly part of an English private collection, originally acquired from the London Art Market