Medieval ring is found in Shropshire

A ring dating back more than 1,500 years was found on land in south Shropshire using a metal detector.

The find, thought to date back to medieval times, was officially declared as treasure by coroner John Ellery at an inquest yesterday in Westgate, Bridgnorth.

The ring was found on August 7 last year but has yet to be officially valued.

Mr Ellery told the hearing: "We cannot reveal the exact location to save the grounds being trampled. It's an early medieval ring."

Peter Reavill, a finds liaison officer who works with Shropshire Council, sent it off to the specialist British Museum in London, Mr Ellery said.

"Experts there examined the piece and to check there was more than 10 per cent precious metal, which defines an item as treasure.

"The ring came back as 93 per cent gold, six per cent silver and one per cent copper," he added.

The ring has a circular band inside, which was made using filigree, a delicate kind of jewellery metalwork, usually using tiny beads or twisted threads, soldered together to the surface of the ring in an artistic motif. The use of filigree also helped date the ring to the medieval times.

Mr Ellery said: "The Shropshire County Museum service is interested in acquiring it but the British Museum could step in should local efforts fail.

"It will be valued and the money split between the finder and the landowner.

"More people are coming forward since the law was changed.

"Before there was a risk involved if a jury decided the item had been buried to be found at a later date.

"If that was found to be the case the neither the finder nor the landowner would get a penny.

"They risked losing it all because the item would then be turned over to the Crown."

A hoard of English Civil War coins was also discovered in south Shropshire by a metal detector enthusiast in a farmer's field last summer.

Howard Murphy discovered the pot of silver and gold in Bitterley, near Ludlow, which could stand to receive about half of its £30,000 value.

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