Thursday, January 11, 2018

Amateur Treasure Hunter Will Make Thousands of Dollars from a Medieval Gold Ring

Ancient Origins

An amateur treasure hunter has made an exciting discovery in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The young man unearthed an engraved 20-carat gold ring dating to the medieval period. The find may make the metal detectorist a pretty penny too – estimates suggest that the artifact is worth £8,000 to £10,000 ($10,874-$13,592).

Hull Daily Mail reports the ring was found by Adam Day while he was metal detecting in a farmer’s field in Beverley. He unearthed the gold ring and immediately realized the importance of the discovery. As Mr. Day said:

 “I was shaking when I found it. It was quite close to the surface, not buried deep in the ground. It is engraved with St George and St Catherine and features floral emblems.

Beverley Minster is nearby and it’s likely the ring belonged to a priest from there. It dates back to between 1450 and 1550.” Beverley Minster is recognized as a masterpiece of medieval gothic architecture in England. It is said to be one of the largest parish churches in the UK and it was a major site for supposed miracles and pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.

The ring will be put up for auction with Hanson’s Auctioneers in Derbyshire on January 24. Adam Staples, an expert for the auctioneers suggests that the estimate of £8,000 to £10,000 for the ring may be a little low. He said:

“What Englishman wouldn’t want to own a 15th century ring featuring St George, the Patron Saint of England? It is a superb example of the craftsmanship of the time. Only high-ranking figures such as bishops or nobility would have been able to afford a ring of such high quality featuring fine decorative engraving and faceting. It may well have belonged to a bishop from Beverley Minster and would have been commissioned.”

The ring dates back to the 15th century. (Hull Daily Mail)

The same auctioneers sold a 15th-century sweetheart brooch last summer. According to Hanson’s Auctioneers that artifact was found by a metal detectorist looking near Kirby Muxloe Castle in Leicestershire. Stories have said the brooch was a token of love from William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, to his wife Katherine Neville, who he married in 1462. The brooch was given an estimated price of £6,000-£8,000 ($8,156 - $10,875) but it was sold for £20,800 ($28,275).

This medieval sweetheart brooch was sold for almost double its estimated price. (Hanson’s Auctioneers)

 If the previous sale is anything to go by, than the Medieval ring may also fetch much more than the estimated price, Mr Staples said: “Medieval jewellery commands high prices due to its rarity, quality and rich historical value.”

Mr. Day was sure to ask for the landowner’s permission before he began searching the field with fellow metal detectorist Pete Birkett and The Express reports he will be splitting half of the money from the sale of the 15th century ring with the farmer. Adam Day has been a metal detecting hobbyist for three years. Previous discoveries he’s made include a Bronze Age axe and a Celtic brooch. He considers the Medieval bishop’s ring his best find so far.

Top Image: The ring, engraved with St George, was found in a field near in Yorkshire. Source: Hansons Auctioneers /

By Alicia McDermott

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