UK - Michael Farrington, of Chadwick Road, discovered the post-medieval golden ‘mourning’ ring while taking part in his hobby in one of the town’s ploughed fields in November 1, 2010.
The 47-year-old said: “Within 15 minutes I got a signal. I dug down about three or four inches and that’s when I found it.
“It didn’t look like a ring at first as it was covered with mud but there it was - this little gold ring.”
The find, which has an inscription on the band’s interior stating: ‘Death is the waye to life’, was recently classified as treasure at an inquest in Crewe Michael took the ring to the Grosvenor Museum in Chester but at first experts did not recognise its worth.
“Initially they gave it back to me as they said it was a Victorian ring,” he added.
“I didn’t think any more of it, then I got an email saying they needed it back.”
Further research showed the makers’ mark ‘TS’ matched two rings in the British Museum dated 1658 and 1669.
The inquest heard that the ring has a ‘floral scroll’ on a black enamel exterior and is ‘consistent with a 17th century date’.
It will now go before a valuation committee and money from any sale will be split between Michael and the landowner.
Middlewich Town Council has also expressed an interest in it.
But the mourning ring is just the latest find for the Crewe and Nantwich Metal Detecting Club member.
The oldest relic he has found in the Middlewich area was a silver coin in Byley from around 1410.
Michael, a team leader for Morrisons, said: “I’ve got a coin from every century from the 1200s onwards.
“About 90 per cent of the stuff I’ve found in Middlewich.”
Michael told the Guardian he used to enjoy metal detecting with his children Alisha, 22, and Kyle, 21, when they were growing up.
He now takes his granddaughter Echo, three, out on some of his treasure hunts.
Courtesy Middlewich Guardian
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