Shropshire Star

Gold ring dating back to 1675 found by metal detectorist in field is declared treasure

A gold ring adorned with tulip engravings which was found in a Shropshire field has been declared treasure.

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The ring has been declared treasure

The post-medieval "memento mori" mourning finger ring was found in Prees on January 30 this year by metal detectorist Paul Malpass.

Whitchurch Museum and Archives has expressed an interest in acquiring the ring for its collection, so an inquest took place to determine whether it should be considered treasure.

A report from Teresa Gilmore, finds liaison officer at Birmingham Museums Trust, said the ring dates back to 1675. It is described as a black enamelled gold finger ring with inscription on the inside.

The report says: "It is circular in plan, and D-shaped in cross section. The exterior has been decorated with an elaborate floral design involving tulips and a rose. A skull is present as part of the design. Traces of balck enamel are present within the recesses of the design. A maker's mark is present which consists of the initials I.C above a pellet in a shield shaped cartouche."

The ring weighs 4.5g, and is 19.6mm in diameter.

The ring has been declared treasure

The report continues: "If only the last two figures of the date are present (i.e 75), then it is generally 1675.

"The finger ring is older than 300 years, with a precious metal content in excess of 10 per cent. It therefore falls under the requirements of the Treasure Act 1996 and should be considered to be treasure."

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, declared the ring to be treasure.