Known in recent decades from just three localities on the Pacific slope of the West Andes in Colombia, Gold-ringed Tanager is a highly distinctive, black, dark green, and yellow bird. Most of the body plumage is dark green, with a mainly black head, and a yellow ring formed by the supercilium, which curves behind the auriculars and joins the broad yellow submoustachial. Finally there is a black throat (green in subadults) and yellow central breast patch. The undoubted rarity of this species, and ongoing deforestation within its small range, has led Gold-ringed Tanager to be listed by the IUCN as Endangered. In common with other Bangsia tanagers, it joins mixed-species foraging flocks, but relatively little is known concerning its ecology, other than a description of its nest and that it feeds on fruit and insects.
Gold-ringed Tanager is named after the distinct horseshoe-shaped yellow ring on both sides of the head. However, the common name in Spanish is Tangara del Tatamá, named for the region in Colombia where it is found (Hilty 2011, de Juana et al. 2012). The genus Bangsia honors U.S. zoologist and collector Outram Bangs (Penard 1919). The specific epithet aureocincta derives from the Latin words aureus: golden, and cinctus: banded, from cingere: to encircle, which translates as "golden banded" (Jobling 2010).