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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 March, 2003, 10:58 GMT
Treasure hunter strikes gold
Swansea beach
The seafront at Swansea where the ring was discovered
A Bronze Age gold plated ring dug up by a treasure hunter on Swansea's foreshore will be bought for the nation.

An inquest in Swansea heard on Tuesday how conservationist Nigel Powell discovered the 1000-year-old relic while he was out and about with his metal detector.

It is only the third ring of its kind to be found in Wales.

Coroner Richard Morgan ruled the ring was a "treasure trove" - and would be bought for the nation to be put on show at the National Museum of Wales.

This ring was probably owned by someone of some wealth and standing and therefore is an important find
Historian Adam Gwylt

Mr Powell, a member of Swansea Metal Detecting Club, found the ring buried 15cm deep in water-logged clay at Brynmill, and showed it to experts at the Cardiff museum.

Adam Gwylt, a historian at the museum, told the hearing: "It belongs to a class of artefacts known as a hair ring. Its function is unknown.


"They are most frequently found in Ireland but there have been finds in England, Scotland, France and Wales."

Mr Gwylt said the ring was forged sometime between the 10th and 8th centuries.

National Museum
The ring will be bought by the National Museum.

"This ring was probably owned by someone of some wealth and standing and therefore is an important find," he said.

Mr Gwylt confirmed the find would be bought for the museum and compensation would be paid to Swansea Council, the owners of the land on which the ring was found.

Mr Morgan said the ring could be defined as treasure because it contained more than 10% precious metal and was at least 300 years old.

He said Swansea Council is planning to split the compensation received from the National Museum with Mr Powell.

After the hearing, Mr Powell, from Neath, said he expected the ring to be worth up to 1,500.

He said he was "very excited" about his find and after two years of metal detecting it was his first find of any real importance.

Top ten treasures announced
02 Jan 03 |  England

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