TREASURE has officially been found in Gwent.

On Thursday, December 21, senior coroner for Gwent, Caroline Saunders officially declared a late Bronze Age penannular ring and a Medieval silver annular brooch as treasure.

The ring was discovered by metal detectorist Mark Hackman under arable land in Michaelstone-y-Fedw Community, Newport on October 16, 2021.

The brooch was found by Joanne Prosser on March 6, 2022 during a metal-detecting rally in Caerwent Community, Monmouthshire.

'The artistry and care which went into the creation of this small penannular ring cannot be overstated'

Metallurgical analysis confirmed the ring is decorated with gold foil and an inlay of spiralling electrum strip.

Just 2.3cm in diameter and very nearly complete, a tear near one of the missing terminal ends reveals its copper-alloy core.

South Wales Argus: A bronze age ring was found in NewportA bronze age ring was found in Newport (Image: Supplied)

Rings such as this are commonly referred to as ‘hair-rings’ due to their suggested use as adornment for the hair, although it is possible they were ear or nose adornments.

Occasionally found accompanying human remains, they overwhelmingly date to the Late Bronze Age (1150-800 BC) in Britain, Ireland, and parts of Belgium and France.

Finder Mark Hackman, said: “As an amateur metal-detectorist, it was an honour to be the person who found this lovely treasure.

"I hope that future generations are able to enjoy and learn more about the lives of people who lived here thousands of years ago.” 

Chris Griffiths, a PhD researcher with Amgueddfa Cymru and the University of Reading, said: Although it weighs less than five grams, the artistry and care which went into the creation of this small penannular ring cannot be overstated.

"The way in which these stripes would have reflected the light of the sun or a fire would have been mesmerising, perhaps helping to mark the status of its wearer who lived in this part of Newport, around 3,000 years ago.”

Newport Museum and Art Gallery has expressed an interest in acquiring this Treasure find after it has been independently valued via the Treasure Valuation Committee.

'I feel very lucky to have found the brooch'

The brooch's frame has a circular cross-section, with half of one face decorated with wide grooves of black-coloured niello inlay.

The wrap-around head overlaps at the top and swivels freely on the frame.

This follows a style of brooch typical of 13th and 14th century Wales.

South Wales Argus: A 13th Century brooch was found in NewportA 13th Century brooch was found in Newport (Image: Supplied)

In particular, the use of niello is consistent with examples known from Carmarthenshire, Powys, and Monmouthshire – illustrating the wider common fashions and styles of dress and personal adornment adopted in Wales at this time.

Finder Joanne Prosser, said: “I feel very lucky to have found this brooch in my first few months of detecting.

"It’s wonderful to think back to the people who made and wore it, and to be part of the story by uncovering it centuries later.”

The two finds were first reported to Mark Lodwick, co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme for Wales (PAS Cymru).

As treasure finds, they were handed in to National Museum Cardiff, where they were identified and reported on by expert curators from Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales.

Since 1997, over 700 treasure finds have been made in Wales, with numbers of treasure finds gradually increasing over time, with 77 treasure cases reported in 2023 so far.