A BRIERFIELD metal detecting fanatic has struck gold after stumbling across a ring that is centuries old.
John Bradbury was out metal detecting with family and friends in North Yorkshire last weekend when he discovered the ring which he believes dates back over 500 years to the Tudor era.
The posey ring, which could be worth £6,000, is engraved with the words “Constant I Will Until I Die” on the inside and Mr Bradbury thinks it is likely to have belonged to a woman of status.
He says he knew immediately it was Tudor because of the font of the engraving and lack of a hallmark, which were introduced on a wider scale in the 17th Century.
Mr Bradbury adds that the valuation is based on a similar engraved gold posey ring in a better condition which featured on the “Antiques Roadshow” last weekend which was valued at £8,000.
However, he also struck silver on the same day, picking up a hammered coin dating back to 1575 which has an outline of the head of Elizabeth I on one side.
Mr Bradbury said: “You won’t see anything like this unless it’s in a museum. I was ecstatic with excitement and knew it was old posey. It’s a unique feeling when you discover something like this. You can’t pay for that feeling.
“I imagine it belonged to a medieval lady of substance who was probably going to visit her father or husband attending to workers on the field in question. She’s tripped or stumbled and lost her wedding ring of huge sentimental value.”
The ring has now been sent off to the coroner and then to treasure trove where it will be valued. Then, the British museum will decide whether they want to buy the ring, but if not, it will returned to Mr Bradbury to be sold at auction with the proceeds split between him and the landowner.
Mr Bradbury says the ring is his best find to date and admits he enjoys nothing more than walking around a field for hours in pursuit of special items.
But he does have a word of warning to potential metal detectors who want to get rich quick.
He says most items found will be worth little, it is the discovery of items, not their value, that makes a detector tick and he feels anybody with an interest in the practice should respect the landowners wishes so not to give metal detecting a bad name.
Mr Bradbury said: “I’ve been collecting and metal detecting for over 21 years and have been searching in this field (where the ring and coin were found) for 16 years.
“In that time I’ve acquired a number of historical artifacts and a great deal of knowledge. I’ve got a thing for the history. You’re the first one to find it for years whether it be worth £1,000 or £1. It’s that excitement, not the value of it.”
Anybody wishing to contact Mr Bradbury can do so through his business website www.digitalmemories1.com