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Historical treasure found by metal detectorists in Swansea and Gower give insight into past

Medieval coins and a sweet “fede” ring uncovered

Gold ‘fede’ ring given as a symbol of love, friendship or betrothal

Author: Polly OliverPublished 8 hours ago

Medieval coins and a gold ring from the Tudor and Stuart period which were found in Swansea have been declared treasure by the Assistant Coroner for the area.

Both finds were discovered by metal-detectorists, and the ring gives us an insight into love and friendship in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Tudor and Stuart relationships

The decorative gold ‘fede’ ring was found by a man metal-detecting in Reynoldston on 17th September 2018.

Sian Iles, Curator of Medieval and Later Archaeology at the National Museum Wales, says the ring style is 16th to 17th century:

“Fede rings were given as a symbol of love, friendship, or betrothal, often inscribed with affectionate mottoes.

“This rare example contributes greatly to our understanding of relationships and emotions of people in Tudor and Stuart Wales.”

Coin haul possibly lost, not hidden

The medieval coins date to 1248-1265 during the reign of Henry III.

They were found in Sketty in February 2019.

Alastair Willis, Senior Curator of Numismatics and the Welsh Economy, at the National Museum Wales said:

“These silver coins had a total value of fourteen and a half pence and likely formed the contents of a purse, perhaps lost rather than hidden.

“The discovery reflects the increasingly widespread use of coins along the south coast of Wales during this period.”

Each year, between 20 and 45 treasure cases are reported in Wales, as finds made by members of the public, usually metal detectorists.

Since 1997, over 550 treasure finds have been made in Wales, with numbers of treasure finds gradually increasing over time.

The museum says these finds are adding important new knowledge and understanding of our pasts, and are a cultural resource of growing importance for Wales.

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