The Gold Lunula

John —  14 August 2013 — 7 Comments

As you well know, we refer to anything to do with the moon as LUNAR. You may not have come across a gold LUNULA whilst searching, but sometimes detectorists find pieces of gold sheet not knowing what they are. The necklaces are normally flat and thin and commonly found in Ireland. You can find out more about them HERE.

Gold Lunula copy

Gold Lunula from Schulenburg, Germany – Wikipedia Commons. – Click to enlarge

Eddie Bolton sent me pictures of the remains of such an item found by his friend Joe Pearson, which he thought may be of interest. Unfortunately I wasn’t provided with many details, but was told that it had been identified (by whom, I don’t know) as the remains of a lunula, and quite rare. Eddie told me that the find was made in Yorkshire and weighs 78 grams.



Traveler Z 14The lunula is a distinctive type of Bronze Age necklace crescent shaped like the moon from which it takes its name – luna is moon in Latin.

In 2010 the National Museum of Ireland discovered a find of early Bronze Age Irish Art.  A pair of Gold Discs and a large lunula from Co Roscommon. This important discovery made headline news.

Lunula were made by firstly hammering a piece of gold into a flat sheet. The cresent shape was then cut out. Lunula were usually decorated with chevron (zig-zag) design using a technique called ‘Incision’ where the design was cut directly into the front of the metal using a sharp tool. The lunula was to be worn around the neck like a collar and tied at the back by twisting the wide paddles against each other. More than 80 Lunula have been found in Ireland – Abbey Community College

The Penwith Lunula 


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7 responses to The Gold Lunula

  1. My detecting friend Steve found a copper alloy one, but a Gold variety is new to me.. Jerry..

  2. not surprising that they don’t come up in one piece and looking at how they fasten no wonder they lost them

  3. If my memory serves me right I remember an artifact fitting the description of the flat gold sheets being found at a County Durham Metal Detecting Club dig at a farm near Scarborough in East Yorkshire. That artifact went to Treasure Trove but I never followed it up.

  4. Hello. I see your posts on the Canadian Metal detecting site and always enjoy them. Things we will never find here..Doug

  5. Wow–I wish we found things like that here in the States.

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