Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Late Bronze Age gold penannular ring

This is a small penannular ring consisting of gold foil, inlaid with electrum, wrapped around a copper alloy core. The inlay gives the ring a ‘banded’ appearance, though this has largely been worn away on the outside of the ring. Small penannular rings of gold or gold foil have traditionally been referred to as ‘hair-rings’ or ‘ring-money’, though their exact function is unknown. They are most frequent in Ireland, but are increasingly known from Wales and southern England, as well as in Scotland, France and the Low Countries. Four further examples in Wales are known from Brynmill and Port Eynon, both Swansea, and St Donats, Vale of Glamorgan, as well as one from the Cwm Cadnant hoard, Anglesey.

The ring is circular and has a circular section with flat-ended, unelaborated terminals that do not meet.

Project Title: Gold in Britain’s auriferous regions, 2450-800 BC: towards a coherent Research Framework and Strategy. Status: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant funded project (2018-2019)


Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number


Find Information

Site Name: Cefn Graeanog, Gwynedd

Collection Method: surface find
Date: 1970

Notes: Single find. The ring was found in 1970 while disc-harrowing a field on Graianog Farm on an eastward-facing slope.


Purchase, 7/11/1985


(): external diameter / mm:19.0 x 17.0
(): diameter / mm
(): width / mm:2.0 (gap)
(): thickness / mm:7.0
(): weight / g:11.22
(): internal diameter / mm:7.0
(): diameter / mm


copper alloy


St Fagans Life Is gallery : Bronze Age and Iron Age Adornment

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