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An Odd "SS" Ring

Article about: Normally, I wouldn't give a ring like this the time of day, but one of my diggers just sent it to me. He's someone with whom I've dealt with for some long time and has always been of the hig

  1. #1

    Default An Odd "SS" Ring

    Normally, I wouldn't give a ring like this the time of day, but one of my diggers just sent it to me. He's someone with whom I've dealt with for some long time and has always been of the highest reliability and respectable, so I'm reluctant to immediately call him a liar. He told me exactly where he found it and how. So then, the facts: First off, it's apparently Cast. Yes, I know...the kiss of death. has Enamel on it, and enamel rings cannot have Heat applied to them, so it's "iffy". It has a sizing mark and is silver stamped inside with 830. And, yes, it's of the design usually seen with fakes, But...I spent a most unpleasant afternoon hunting through my files and online as well, looking at countless hundreds of disgusting fake rings, and This one, I cannot match it Exactly to any fake ring I have yet to see. Similar-yes. Exact design-no.
    When it came in, it was as black as coal and encrusted. I spent a laborious bit of time removing the corrosion from it to be able to examine it more closely. And, yes-the much beloved "patina" was, for the most part, lost by doing this. But, when it comes to silver jewelry out of the ground, I'm not one that adores black crud and filth on a piece. They clean shipwreck coins and Lord only knows what all else kind of excavated pieces-I can see no reason to not also clean a simple Ring. I did leave highlights and traces of the blackness-particularly inside and on the grooves of the shoulder designs. And, so here it is-what are your opinions on it?
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    Last edited by Wagriff; 02-05-2015 at 08:59 AM.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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  3. #2


    FWIW I quite like it as it doesn't scream fake to me.

  4. #3


    I think it also looks ok and its possblie to be ground dug and still in this good condition

  5. #4


    Not real sure, but the backsite of the plate looks like it has some pittings from casting.
    An original of such pattern should be die struck.
    I would be very, very careful.
    More and better pics/handinspection would be best.

  6. #5


    Agreed, ground-dug silver rings can survive well even hundreds of years later depending on soil conditions. After only 70 or so years in the ground such a nice condition is hardly surprising.

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  7. #6


    Die strucke is generally (always infact) a good start to any ring being identified,


    I have come across genuine examples (very few) with provinance, which have been cast. If you can guarantee it was a detector find your halfway to safety. But please bare in mind, strong evidence has been known, some time ago during the 70s and 80s many fake rings were placed in large quantities around some sites for the very first 'detector tours'.. in order to give a good chance of a find and promote the tours.

    I like it, I don't like the fact it could be cast and shows pitting, but the pattern appears convincing and the shoulders and strikes look good as they should.

    Deffinately worth holding onto for if more information surfaces one day.

  8. #7


    I am sure I saw this ring on a Latvian diggers site and they were digging up human remains for proper burial,German and Russian.

  9. #8


    Personally, I am tending to lean more towards the authenticity of it. As I said, I know the digger and he is absolutely reliable and has been doing this for quite some time now. It was a detector find and came right from the ground, so it is certainly puzzling as to what to make of it. I cannot believe that the digger would intentionally lie and send a long time client a ring that he knows will be rejected, all for a small sum of money-and risk losing any and all future sales and slurring of his name and reputation. It would make little sense. It could well be that my theory of enamel and casting may hold, but who knows. I do know that it has heavy patina to all of it and does not look artificially applied as so many of the pre-aged fakes tend to do. It could possibly be simply a cheap made canteen ring-maybe even being foreign produced? I don't imagine that All soldiers wanted to spend their pay money on jewelry when they could more profitably spend it on women and booze. Over time, I've owned, examined, and authenticated God only knows how many various rings, but This one has me hesitating at quick dismissal. I actually like it and trust my source who sent it.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  10. #9


    As long as you are happy with it, that's the main thing!

  11. #10


    I've just been trying to find an answer as to why "cast" rings are seeming to be excavated on dig sites by reputable diggers but are being dismissed as reproductions. I absolutely Agree, a great number of them Are fakes, but when dug on site by honest diggers, how are these others to be explained? Is what is being seen as casting porosity possibly the corroding in the soil of the roughly 20% alloy of the metal that is Not silver? I simply do not know. Certainly, a person can find stunningly perfect examples that have been buried, but is this due to soil chemistry in that area? Or metal purity? This is a question that has been nagging on me for some time now-especially so now that the prevalence of battlefield diggers seems to have grown exponentially. This is why I posted this ring here-to illustrate the question and to open discussion on the matter abit.

    One of the chief troubling aspects is that potentially, there could be a considerable number of excavated pieces that have been dismissed as fakes and are now disposed of and lost. It seems almost incredible to believe that both dedicated professionals and devoted amateur diggers occasionally run into town and purchase a handful of fake rings, take them home and age them with acid, fire, etc and then slip them into their inventorys of excavated items that they sell to finance future work and sell them to unsuspecting customers of long standing. Even people like our own Maxim here have been accused of this. Is there an answer that is being missed here? I wish that I knew.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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