AN Antiques Roadshow guest was stunned to discover a medieval ring while planting tomatoes in his garden.
Jewellery specialist Geoffrey Munn left the owner gobsmacked when he revealed the ring was made of gold and had historical importance.
The guest explained the ring was found in some tomatoes in the dirt and initially thought a plastic ring from a Christmas cracker.
“I thought it was from a Christmas cracker but I put it in my pocket and when I took it out of my pocket at home it was nice and shiny,” he explained.
“I thought it was obviously not out of a cracker and I had it for a few years before taking it to a jeweller in Cheltenham.”
Expert Geoffrey explained the item was “extremely valuable”, and had to be reported to the guest’s local museums due to its historic significance.
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He said the ring was most likely a Victorian copy of a Roman ring and was hidden underground for hundreds of years until the guest discovered it.
“In actual fact, it came out of the ground the way that it went into the ground,” Geoffrey told the guest.
“It went into the ground 600 or 700 hundred years ago.
“Gold never tarnishes, it remains the same, and the tiny stone at the top of the ring remains the same because it’s a sapphire.
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“It’s travelled across Arabia and towards Europe and was traded and set into this ring
“It’s a type of ring often worn by men of the cloth because a substruct of Christianity was old magic and men of the cloth could afford these things.”
The expert was stunned that the guest had discovered the ring without a metal detector.
You were just gardening and you accidentally pulled out a Medieval ring and this is enviable beyond belief, this is terribly exciting,” Geoffrey exclaimed.
The guest was eager to know how much the historical item was worth.
“This is an extremely valuable ring, there is precedent for this sort of ring fetching £8,000 and £9,000 at auction,” Geoffrey revealed.
“Good God,” the guest replied in amazement.
“Wow, I thought it would be a few hundred pounds in scrap gold.”
The guest was chuffed with the result and was obliged to contact local museums about the find now he knew its historical significance to document it.