Hello Folks, this is my first post. I just found this copper ring on a beach in Okinawa, Japan. Can anyone tell me what I'm looking at? Thanks!

kegster

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pepperj

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Welcome
It would help to know the size reference of this disk.
See some details on the disk.
 
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Gare

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Kegster welcome to a very fine forum :)
 
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7point62

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Jul 22, 2022
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This is an ancient (c700 to c1200 AD) Norse and/or Viking runic symbol. One of several such magic "compass" sigils. I can't quite make out what this exact one is, but believe it to be the Vegvisir, which was to prevent one getting lost. These symbols were often painted on shields, worn as rings or pendant amulets, engraved into helmets, etc.

Are you certain it's copper and not bronze? Anyway the style of the ring is not inconsistent with a true ancient Viking artefact, but the (stamped?) way the symbol is embossed into the surface as well as the near perfectly done construction and relatively excellent condition leads me to believe it's a much more modern piece. Certainly an unusual find for Japan in any case.
 

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kegster

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May 3, 2006
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Rockwall, Texas
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This is an ancient (c700 to c1200 AD) Norse and/or Viking runic symbol. One of several such magic "compass" sigils. I can't quite make out what this exact one is, but believe it to be the Vegvisir, which was to prevent one getting lost. These symbols were often painted on shields, worn as rings or pendant amulets, engraved into helmets, etc.

Are you certain it's copper and not bronze? Anyway the style of the ring is not inconsistent with a true ancient Viking artefact, but the (stamped?) way the symbol is embossed into the surface as well as the near perfectly done construction and relatively excellent condition leads me to believe it's a much more modern piece. Certainly an unusual find for Japan in any case.
 
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CRUSADER

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This is an ancient (c700 to c1200 AD) Norse and/or Viking runic symbol. One of several such magic "compass" sigils. I can't quite make out what this exact one is, but believe it to be the Vegvisir, which was to prevent one getting lost. These symbols were often painted on shields, worn as rings or pendant amulets, engraved into helmets, etc.

Are you certain it's copper and not bronze? Anyway the style of the ring is not inconsistent with a true ancient Viking artefact, but the (stamped?) way the symbol is embossed into the surface as well as the near perfectly done construction and relatively excellent condition leads me to believe it's a much more modern piece. Certainly an unusual find for Japan in any case.
Agreed, modern copy, but a little different from most Ring finds.
 
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kegster

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That's awesome info! I thought it might have been an astrological emblem. It was found on a beach at a US Army post that was at the center of the Allied invasion of Okinawa in March-April of 1945. Thsnk you!
 
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pepperj

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That's awesome info! I thought it might have been an astrological emblem. It was found on a beach at a US Army post that was at the center of the Allied invasion of Okinawa in March-April of 1945. Thsnk you!
Just because something happened in a certain timeline means the ring is/was from the same period.
I assumed it was copper, but could be bronze. It rang in at 31-32 on my Equinox 800.
It is copper, not brass nor bronze as it would have a different appearance.
(This is my own opinion-from yrs of buying scrap 10tons copper 2 tons brass every week)
Kind of get a good sense of what the metals look like.

Cool recovery though, well done.
 
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kegster

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May 3, 2006
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Just because something happened in a certain timeline means the ring is/was from the same period.

It is copper, not brass nor bronze as it would have a different appearance.
(This is my own opinion-from yrs of buying scrap 10tons copper 2 tons brass every week)
Kind of get a good sense of what the metals look like.

Cool recovery though, well done.
Thanks pepperj, I hope I didn't foul things up by cleaning it up with salt and vinegar. I'm sure it is a recent piece, but I was excited to reel it in nonetheless. Thank you!
 
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Red-Coat

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This is an ancient (c700 to c1200 AD) Norse and/or Viking runic symbol. One of several such magic "compass" sigils. I can't quite make out what this exact one is, but believe it to be the Vegvisir, which was to prevent one getting lost. These symbols were often painted on shields, worn as rings or pendant amulets, engraved into helmets, etc.

Are you certain it's copper and not bronze? Anyway the style of the ring is not inconsistent with a true ancient Viking artefact, but the (stamped?) way the symbol is embossed into the surface as well as the near perfectly done construction and relatively excellent condition leads me to believe it's a much more modern piece. Certainly an unusual find for Japan in any case.

Good ID. That''s indeed what it is. Almost impossible to date since they still make them today. Popular with "New Agers" in the same way as runic rings.


Vegvisir.jpg

PS: Welcome to Tnet.
 
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pepperj

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Thanks pepperj, I hope I didn't foul things up by cleaning it up with salt and vinegar. I'm sure it is a recent piece, but I was excited to reel it in nonetheless. Thank you!
Your recovery and now you can see the emblem design.
It will tone down after a few years exposed to oxygen, and will have a lovely appearance.
 
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CRUSADER

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I assumed it was copper, but could be bronze. It rang in at 31-32 on my Equinox 800.
It's copper, I find tons of bronze of all periods; Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, Viking, & later Medieval etc.. (plus my fair share of copper)
 
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Radon

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This is an ancient (c700 to c1200 AD) Norse and/or Viking runic symbol. One of several such magic "compass" sigils. I can't quite make out what this exact one is, but believe it to be the Vegvisir, which was to prevent one getting lost.
If it was to prevent getting lost, it didn't work very well. But at least you found it!
 
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Cuda74

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Hi ya kegster, nice find, with a cool design.
If you don't already do it, scuba dive in Okinawa, really cool stuff to find there. Plus a lot of fishing net sinkers in the pools in the lava. Used to dive there in the early 80's, and one of my dive partners found a huge gold ring below a drop off at the bottom, took up most of his finger. Just watch out for the sea urchins, sharp, sharp, sharp!
 
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