The gold ring was found by a metal detectorist. In total, only six treasure troves have been found in Portsmouth, most of which have been silver as opposed to gold.
The ring has been dated between 1500 and 1700. The decoration, with delicate filigree and raised bosses is very 16th century. Often rings like this have a short inscription on the inside, however, this artefact has no inscription and is very wide and might even be made of two bands put together making it hollow.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development said: “This type of artefact is so rare, and I am happy to have it back in Portsmouth as part of one of the most ambitious and exciting exhibitions we have held.
“I love looking at artefacts and imagining the stories behind them. For this ring, I imagine a Tudor gentleman wearing this with the gold standing out against his dark clothes, but someone else will imagine something completely different. I hope thousands of stories are inspired by this ring and the exhibition.
“This is a city rich in history and culture and I know it’s important to so many people to have the unique treasure trove back where it belongs.”
Silver City: 500 Years of Portsmouth’s History is a major exhibition at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, telling the story of the city through amazing silver treasures. It showcases many precious objects that have never been on public display before. Most come from the city’s civic collection, but others have been loaned from the Royal Navy, the city’s Anglican cathedral and the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity.
Exhibits include a model of HMS Victory presented to the city when the Portsmouth Command of the Royal Navy was awarded the Freedom of the City in 1965. It is made from copper taken from the ship and plated in silver.
The exhibition also tells personal stories of local people. Some are famous, like round-the-world yachtsman Sir Alec Rose, whilst others are ordinary Portsmouth people for whom a silver object marked an important part of their life.
You can read more about the exhibition and the history they depict in our special blog written by University of Portsmouth student Rachel Jones: Treasures shine a light on Portsmouth’s past.
Silver City is open now and admission is free.
Exhibition ends on 26 February 2023.