From: "voormihunter" <zarkov1@…>
Date: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:53 am
Subject: Re: [dglist] The Castaigne collection - one other item
A gold ring of considerable size. It would fit a very large hand. The ring has a flattened top, embossed with the following design:
A hexagonal snake seizing its tail in its mouth. At each point of the hexagon the snake displays a dorsal spike so that the entire design somewhat resembles a six pointed star.
Various examinations have determined that the ring is not solid gold, in fact it carries an unusual core of basaltic rock, shot through with molecular uranium dioxide. X-rays show that the basaltic rock appears to carry a small portion of fossilized glossopteris fern.
The ring is an unpedigreed oddity and despite the inclusion of ancient rock is likely of recent origin, certainly no earlier than late 19th century.
The name comes from a gold-thread embroidery on the red velvet case in which the ring was "found" in 1945.
A curious footnote: the symbol embossed on the ring was also found among certain ink drawings made by the disgraced geology professor William Dyer while leading an expedition to Antarctica. The relationship, if any between the ring and Dyer is unknown.