A Gripping Scandinavian Treasure!
Well, what an exciting time we've been having recently!
Aside from normal tasks which you would associate with a running a jewellery shop, Catherine has, over the years used her considerable gemmological and valuation experience to assess some important and valuable pieces.
Recently, she had an interesting visit from a member of the public who brought in an item for her opinion which he had quite literally, unearthed whilst metal-detectoring somewhere in Devon.
The item in question has been identified as a Scandinavian Gripping Beast Ring.
it's made of 22.4ct gold and is an early style - between 9thCentury and 11thCentury.
Considering the early date of the ring and the limited tools and processes available at the time, the degree of craftsmanship is astonishing.
It appears to have been made using a casting technique which would most likely have used either sand or cuttlefish.
Catherine always gets a thrill from handling exciting pieces of jewellery
The finder is being kept deliberately anonymous, but said;
'When I found this ring, it was approximately five inches deep and when it came out of the ground, it was absolutely packed with dirt - solid. When I pushed the dirt off, I could see roughly what it was and, looking at it closely I realised I was the first person to touch or see this for over a thousand years.'
This wonderful find was reported to the authorities and has now been collected by the Finds Officer.
It's now being researched further by the British Museum - we will let you know its fate.