AN ELIZABETHAN gold ring worth thousands of pounds astounded experts at a valuation event in Stratford.
Jewellery expert Kate Bliss was ‘bowled over’ when metal detectorist Ben Bishop handed her the ring he had briefly mistaken for a ring-pull when he dug it up in a field in Somerset.
The signet ring featuring an eagle is thought to be over 450-years-old and is estimated to be worth £10,000.
Bargain Hunt and Flog It! star Kate said: “This gold signet ring bowled me over. What an amazing find.
“Ben is an avid and experienced metal detector.
“Depicting a double headed eagle on a flat oval bezel with beaded border, the ring is thought to date from between 1550 and 1650 and weighs in at an unusually heavy 17grams.
“This is a rare find and one which will appeal to jewellery enthusiasts and historians alike.”
Ben drove from his home in Somerset to show Kate his one and only gold find.
The 30-year-old said: “I’ve been metal detecting for about seven years and this is the first gold I have ever found. I dug it up last August in a farmer’s field near Glastonbury.
“My metal detector said it was likely to be a Coke can ring-pull. When I lifted the turf and dug up the ring I was so gobsmacked I had to sit on the ground for about 40 minutes just staring at it.
“I’ve found tons of drink can ring-pulls and lots of rubbish over the years, so to find something like this was really special. I did lots of research on it and immediately registered it as Treasure Trove.
“It’s a man’s ring and fits my finger really well, but I have to part with it.
“I have no idea who it originally belonged to but it would have been a person of wealth and importance. Glastonbury Abbey, an old monastery, isn’t far away.”
The ring was taken away to be studied and a report was made on it by the British Museum before being returned to its finder.
It will be sold at auction on September 27.
Ben will split the money made with the farmer whose field he found it in.
Visit www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk for more information on upcoming events.