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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 August, 2004, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Dad's Viking treasure discovered
Gold Viking Arm Ring (picture courtesy Yorkshire Museum)
The artefact was owned by a man from York
A gold Viking arm ring, only the second of its kind to be found in Britain, has been unearthed in York.

The 325g artefact was taken to the Yorkshire Museum by a man who found it among his late father's belongings.

Although the ring has been cut through and straightened, it is otherwise complete and has been described as a "beautiful object" by museum bosses.

Now they hope to raise cash to put it on display in York after the coroner officially declared it a treasure.

It's a fascinating find and a beautiful object
Simon Holmes, Yorkshire Museum

The ring, which is 95% gold, is currently on display in the British Museum where it is being studied.

Simon Holmes, of the National Portable Antiquities Scheme at the Yorkshire Museum, said a similar artefact had been found in Wipholm in Germany.

"The only other similar example to be found in Britain was found in Goodrington in Devon and I believe our example is the larger of the two," he added.

"It's a fascinating find and a beautiful object."

Market value

The man who was in possession of the ring was a builder who worked in the York area his entire life.

"It is a possibility he found it at work one day years ago, but he could just as easily have found it in his flower bed last year," Mr Holmes said.

An independent valuation committee will now decide on the ring's market value, which the museum will have to pay the finder to secure it for display.

Until then, it remains property of the Crown.

Mr Holmes told BBC News Online the figure was likely to run into thousands, rather than tens of thousands, of pounds.

"It will be interesting," he added, "because as far as I am aware there has never been a Viking arm ring sold on the open market."

Under the Treasure Act 1996, finders of objects containing a substantial proportion of gold or silver must report the finding to the district coroner.

If a museum wants to acquire the artefact, the coroner holds an inquest to decide whether it is a treasure.

Treasure may be key Viking burial
17 Feb 04  |  North Yorkshire


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