Pensioner, 81, who found a gold ring on farmland in 1978 is shocked to learn it’s a 700-year-old medieval artefact worth £10,000 after rediscovering it hidden in his garage
Tom Clark, 81, dug up the item of jewellery after finding it with a metal detector He was searching an area of farmland in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire in 1979The ring bears a Latin inscription and contains an image is incised into a stoneIt is set to be sold at Auction in Derby, next Tuesday with an estimate of £10,000
A pensioner who unearthed a gold ring in the 70s and kept it in his garage for 40 years was shocked to learn it was medieval treasure worth up to £10,000 ($12,000).
Tom Clark, 81, dug up the item of jewellery after finding it with a metal detector while searching an area of farmland in 1979.
He placed the ring inside a metal tin and tucked it away in a garage for several decades but recently found it again by chance.
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A pensioner who unearthed a gold ring in the 70s and kept it in his garage for 40 years was shocked to learn it was medieval treasure worth up to £10,000
Mr Clark, a retired leather craftsman, was sorting through items from his mother’s house after she died eight years ago when the forgotten treasure turned up.
He decided to get the seal ring valued and was left stunned to discover it was a 670-year-old medieval artefact dating back to 1350.
The ring bears a Latin inscription and contains what is thought to be a semi-precious intaglio, an image carved into the surface of a stone.
It is now set to be sold at Hansons Auctioneers’ Historica and Metal Detecting Finds Auction in Etwall, Derby, next Tuesday with an estimate of £8,500 ($7,000) to £10,000 ($12,000).
Tom Clark, 81, dug up the item of jewellery after finding it with a metal detector while searching an area of farmland in 1979
Mr Clark, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire., said: ‘I had completely forgotten about it.
‘I found it around 1979 on farmland just outside Aylesbury. There’s a big housing estate on the land now.
‘At the time I’d only been metal detecting for 10 years and didn’t realise the ring was anything special. It was all twisted and broken when I dug it up.
‘I took it to a museum along with a lot of other rings I’d come across so they could record the finds.
‘I went back a week later and they told me the rings were all fairly modern and gave them back to me.
‘So, I put them all in a tin and left them in the garage at my mother’s house where I was living at the time. Back then I would have been in my 30s.
‘A few months ago, I was sorting through some stuff in my own garage that had come from my mother’s house and there it was – the tin with the rings in it.
‘I’ve learned a lot over the last 50 years spent metal detecting – and I know a lot more now than I did when I found the ring in the late 70s or early 80s.
‘I knew straight away it was a seal ring dating back to around 1350. I had the shank of the ring mended, luckily the head was intact.
‘I then took it back to my local museum and the find has now been recorded.
‘It’s the highest carat gold and would have belonged to someone of importance due to its decoration and quality.
‘The dark green intaglio features the god Mars holding a spear and trophy. It’s rare and elegant. I’d love to know who it belonged to.’
Mark Becher, Historica expert at Hansons, said: ‘What a piece of history. The ring is around 670 years old. It’s buried treasure that turned into forgotten treasure.
‘The ring bears a Latin inscription “NVNCIE.VERA.TEGO” which may translate as “I hide the true message”.
‘This could relate to the role of a seal ring in securing correspondence.
‘It’s a fascinating piece of medieval jewellery and I’m delighted Tom rediscovered again after all these years.’
HOW DO METAL DETECTORS WORK?
The invention of the metal detector cannot be truly claimed by one person.
It is a combination and amalgamation of several different pieces of technology.
Alexander Graham Bell did fashion a device that was an electromagnetic, metal locating machine.
This was based on a device invented by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove.
Sometime later, an engineer Gerhard Fischer, filed a patent regarding a design.
A metal detector consists of a stabiliser, control box, shaft, and search coil.
It is the two coils that are actually responsible for the detection of metal.
The outer coil is the transmitter coil while the inner coil is the receiver coil.
This works to detect and amplify frequencies. This type of technology is known as Very Low Frequency or VLF technology.
When electricity is provided to this transmitter coil, there is a magnetic field created around the coil.
This is the same science behind electromagnets.
When the machine wafts over metal the electrons in the metal – due to its metallic bonding and sea of electrons surrounding a fixed positively charged mass – are affected by the magnetic field.
The change in the electrons triggers a tiny electrical field in the metal object which alters the frequency of the metal detector.
This indicates metal is present.
More advanced metal detectors are also able of differentiating between different types of metal ad the frequency change is different and therefore the pitch of the note is altered.
Source: The Detectorist