April 2024 – Treasure of the Month

This month’s featured treasure is this gold ring with mysterious engraved crosses and letters INSIDE OF THE RING! There were of course many rings recovered from the 1715 Fleet (both by salvors and on the beach). However, only a very few (three by latest count) were found to have this cryptic engraving. After careful analysis it was determined that the curious inscription was actually the Prayer of Saint Zacharias. The prayer was for divine intersession against the Black Death. The inside of the ring contains an acrostic for a prayer against plagues that reads +Z+DIA+BIZ+SAB+Z+HG+F+BFS. The full text of the prayer can be seen below.

Our gold ring is 20K (85% gold and 7% silver) weighs 2.84 grams and is fairly large for the period (size 71/2). There is a little crease in the ring where the thin band was fused after the engraving was completed. The ring is in pristine condition and the engraving is sharp and clear. The outside bears no engraving or ornamentation and is bright and clean.

For more information about rings recovered from the 1715 Fleet, see our Treasure of the Month for February 2016, November 2016, February 2021 and September 2021.

Many thanks to Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. for providing all the information that went into the text of this post as well as the images. We always appreciate the help and support offered by Dan Sedwick and his staff.

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