Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Sunday, 25 October 2009

Mystery surrounds gold ring find

The ring
The ring has a distinctive maker's mark

A gold ring found by a metal detector enthusiast in Nottingham is provoking debate among experts.

Paul Hammond unearthed the ring in a field near his Clifton home last summer and handed it over to a local museum for them to investigate its origins.

While the signet ring has been dated to the 17th Century, no-one has been able to identify the elaborate coat of arms it bears.

It has now been declared treasure trove and could go on display in Nottingham.

Bee in shield

Mr Hammond said that while he enjoyed using his detector, he never expected to make valuable finds.

"I got a weak signal, so I dug down and a gold ring popped out.

"I was amazed to see it, but then all I wanted to know was where it had come from and find out about it."

Rachel Atherton, finds liaison officer for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, said: "It is probably 17th Century and is a signet ring with a coat of arms.

"We don't actually know who the coat of arms are for but on the back is a maker's mark, which is a bee in a shield, and the British Museum have a ring with the same maker's mark which they know is 17th Century, so that is how it has been dated."


The ring is from the 17th Century

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