This gold finger-ring is set with a large central sapphire surrounded by triangular red glass inlays and embellished around the exterior edge of the bezel with fine gold and beaded wiring.

The ring offers the potential of gaining a deeper insight into the history of the city of York and the surrounding region. The form of the ring suggests it may be from the seventh or eighth centuries. However, the presence of a sapphire would be unique if this were the date of production for the ring. The sapphire could mean the ring was made, or adapted later, maybe in the tenth or eleventh centuries. Such a combination of possible dates for the production and adaptation of the ring places it amongst a small set of rare and intriguing high status objects in York that allude to Viking tastes for cherishing and 'improving' art objects of earlier periods. It is possible that this work was undertaken in York itself.


Discovered in April 2009 by a metal detector user in North Yorkshire. Reported as Treasure in June 2009.

Yorkshire Museum

Museum Gardens, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7FR
01904 687687

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm

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