Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8/16/16 Report - Thumb Rings and Gimmel Rings. Cobs From Past Storms. Colonial Period Dress. Evolving As A Detectorist.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Finds by Bob M. After 2003 Storms
Submitted by Darrel Strickland

Here is what Darrel said to go along with this photo. 

Bob M. used to work for Kelloggs and always had some poptarts or snacks for us. We always thought he was trying to find the good spots. It turned out he already knew!

I have not seen or heard from him in a long time. I know when he sent me his photos I had permission to use them. I should mention the book never got published, a copy of it is with the St. Augustine Historical Society. 

Bon Steel isn't known for large denomination cobs like this.  It is better known for the smaller cobs like those at the top right of the picture near his finger tips.


As a detectorist, you might discover that you evolve over the years.  You might notice that "finding" becomes a smaller part of it.

At first every detectorist wants to find things.  They want to see what they can find and how much they can find.  It can be a little bit like a race or test.  At some point it is likely to turn into a competition as you test yourself against others.  Who can find more and better stuff.  Some never get out of that phase.  They tend to be the loudest.

If you do get out of that phase, you will likely discover that detecting is as much about understanding as it is about finding.  I'm not talking about understanding detectors or detecting. You'll come to understand broader things such as artifacts, history, people, place and time.

It can end up being as much about sharing and giving as it is about getting.  Ultimately, it is about being and who you are.


Not long ago I showed some 1715 Fleet rings and talked about them little.  Later I mentioned that some rings that are unusually large were meant to be worn over a glove.  Other large rings might be thumb rings.

I found a helpful book.  It is An Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Costume, From the First Century B C. to C. 1760 by James Robinson Planche.  You'll find a free preview online.  See the link below.

On page 419 you'll this information on thumb rings.

Along with that you'll find the following information on "clasping hands" rings, which I recently discussed in another post.  Clasped hands rings can be hinged so that the hands can be clasped or unclasped.  In a previous post I showed a "clasped hands" ring that was found just a few weeks ago by the crew of the Capitana on a 1715 Fleet wreck.  It was not hinged.

Those rings can also be called gimmel rings.  Here an excerpt talking about that.

Click here to go to that preview.

Below is a link to a detailed article on dress in the 1700s.  Here is one paragraph from that article mentioning thumb rings.

Comparatively little jewellery was worn. A few men had gold or silver sleeve-buttons; a few women had bracelets or lockets; nearly all of any social standing had rings, which were chiefly mourning-rings. As these gloomy ornaments were given to all the chief mourners at funerals, it can be seen that a man of large family connections, or of prominent social standing, might acquire a great many of them. The minister and doctor usually had a ring at every funeral they attended. It is told of an old Salem doctor, who died in 1758, that he had a tankard full of mourning-rings which he had secured at funerals. Men sometimes wore thumb-rings, which seems no queerer than the fact that they carried muffs. Old Dr. Prince of Boston carried an enormous bearskin muff.

Here is the link.



There is a storm developing but it is still far away - closer to Africa than the West Indies.  It will be a while before we know how strong it gets and where it is going to go.

Happy hunting,