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gold dust woman

Coroner's court 'treasure trove inquest' finds 300-year-old ring to be genuine

It turns out the coroner’s court has duties that extend beyond dealing with corpses.

A MAN FROM Antrim has had a gold ring he discovered in a field near his home verified as ‘treasure’.

Thomas Ross, from Jordanstown Heights in Newtonnabbey, this week had the authenticity of the ring confirmed by the Belfast Coroner’s Court (no, that isn’t a mistake).  Under British law, findings of potential treasure must be reported to the local coroner.

The coroner’s court, surprisingly, has special duties in relation to both ancient trinkets and cadavers.

Under the Treasure Act of 1996 and the Coroners Act of 1959 it was found that the ring was indeed a genuine artifact.

In her statement Coroner Suzanne Anderson described her duties as being to decide “whether or not the find is treasure”. After consideration it was decided that it indeed was.  

gold ring Belfast Coroner's office Belfast Coroner's office

The artifact was found near the Grange of Ballywater, near Newtownabbey in Co Antrim. The ring is thought to be a lady’s ‘Posy ring’ dated from around 1680 to 1700 with a gold content of around 85%.

The inside of the ring bears an inscription in Old English of “I noght on gift bot gifer”. This roughly translates to “Look not on the gift but the giver”.

Speaking in The Irish News earlier this week, curator in Applied Arts for National Museums Ireland Elise Taylor, described how the ring may possibly have belonged to woman walking to a church or adjoining cemetery, and how it may have fallen off in the cold weather.

The ring has now been taken to the British Museum for evaluation.

Read: “Buried treasure” from Ancient Roman times found under department store

Also: Rare treasures displayed for first time at Dublin’s Chester Beatty Library

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