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This is a rare Bronze Age gold ring money, dating to c. 1100 B.C. Before minted coinage, the Celtic peoples traded in bullion and other commodities. Ring money pieces such as this have been found throughout Britain and Ireland, likely used as a form of adornment or early jewellery.
This example is rare, being decorated with pontile work around the upper surface. It is expertly crafted with a core of bronze, encased in hammered gold sheet (similar examples here, here and here). Academics have in recent years debated the use of such items, as a form of currency, or items of jewellery (such as hair rings, or beard rings). It is an excellent example of a Bronze Age Ring Money adornment, that must have been once owned and worn by the druid or elite class of Bronze Age society. Further examples may be seen in the British Museum (see here)
OBJECT: Gold Ring Money
CULTURE: Bronze Age
DATE: c. 1200 - 1000 B.C.
MATERIAL: Gold & AE core
SIZE: 18.8mm x 20.5mm dia 5mm
PROVENANCE: Ex Beaufort Collection, originally from the River Avon, Somerset.