Depending on who you ask, the Ring Grain was either introduced in 1986, and replaced by the Shilling in 1995, or it was introduced in 1996, with the Shilling being but a variation this grade that had a Cumberland, rather than Shell Briar finish. Well, while this briar's finish isn't quite so light as the Cumberland, it isn't the full-on jet-black of the modern Shell Briar either, and it's dated as being made in 1998, contradicting both versions of the Shilling/Ring Grain history.
My take on this mystery is best summed up as: Whatever. It's a classic Dunhill Billiard with utterly fantastic ring grain, even by the Shilling/Ring Grain standards. A man hardly needs to know all the details of its origins to enjoy that.
- Eric N. Squires