Tragedy, superstition and mystery surround antique ring discovered in Port aux Basques garden

by Luke Higgins

This unusual ring was found by Port aux Basques resident Edgar LeValliant, likely sometime in the 1920s. - Keith Collins

18th century English ring puts Newfoundland Facebook sleuths to the test

PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – It’s a mystery well over 100 years in the making. Just how exactly did an 18th-century English belt-buckle ring end up in a Port aux Basques garden?

“Maybe it’s part of the Knights Templar treasure that’s supposed to be on Oak Island,” jokes Keith Collins, the current owner of the ring.

Regton Metal Detection Specialists

Collins comes by the ring honestly. It was his great-grandfather, Edgar LeValliant, who unearthed the ring most likely some time in the 1920s.

“In his potato garden I was told.”

Collins said the ring was discovered about a foot beneath the soil, “while setting potatoes over 100 years ago at Channel-Port aux Basques.”

Other than the family story of its discovery, Collins has little information to start from in his quest to know more about the unusual ring he inherited.

What he does have is a Facebook account and a lot of fellow history lovers he talks to through a group called Newfoundland History Buffs.

It was through the efforts of other group members that Collins first learned more about the ring itself. Two different researchers, Chris Fitzgerald and Todd Shearing, have independently confirmed the ring is likely a 10-karat men’s belt buckle ring, possibly crafted in Sheffield, England in the mid- to late-1700s.

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