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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 March, 2005, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Gold love ring is treasure trove
Gold 16th century ring

A collection of artefacts dating from the Bronze Age to the 1600s has been declared treasure by a coroner's court in Cardiff.

The items were found over the course of 18 months at various sites in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales.

They included a gold Elizabethan ring with the inscription "Let Liking Last" on its inner rim, found near the ruins of a manor house in Llantrithyd.

Five Bronze Age axe heads were also among items found by metal dectectors.

The court declared seven items to be treasure, meaning it now becomes the property of the Crown and must be valued before it can be sold.

Bronze Age axes
The axes are from the late Bronze Age period

Archaeological staff at the National Museums and Galleries of Wales now hope to buy the items for their collections.

A Romano-British silver ring and a 16th Century silver gilt dress hook were some of the other highlights of the finds.

A second inscribed 16th or 17th Century gold ring was also found, bearing the legend "Where this I give, I wish to live" in italic writing.

The museum's head of archaeology, Mark Redknap, said: "Many of the rings illustrate style and fashion in jewellery, dress accessories and they provide first-hand evidence.

"For a lot of things, we rely on contemporary accounts or portraits but here we have the objects themselves.

"Where they have got inscriptions we can see the use of letter styles."

The artefacts also helped to make comparisons in fashion and styles between Wales, the rest of Britain and beyond, he added.

Peter Halford
I felt how heavy it was and realised it wasn't modern but a quality item
Peter Halford

Peter Halford, who found the first inscribed ring, was in court to hear the coroner's judgement.

He came across the ring while out with his metal detector in February 2004.

The psychiatrist from Talbot Green, near Llantrisant, had found two other historical artefacts during the two-and-a-half years since he took up the hobby, but this was the first one of value he had unearthed within Wales.

"I was out with my metal detector just not finding very much as usual. I heard the signalling, dug down not very far, saw this glint of gold looking as good as the day it was lost.

"I didn't realise how significant it was. I though it was something modern at first," he said.

"Then I saw what I'd thought was dirt was enamel, which I knew you got on old rings, and I felt how heavy it was and realised it wasn't modern but a quality item."

Dr Halford said he did not have any idea how much the ring might be worth.

"I don't do it for the money. I think it's good more to feel a connection with the past.

"I just wonder who lost it."

He believes the owner was probably a young girl who either lost it accidentally or threw the ring away after an falling-out with whoever gave the item to her.

"It was found near Llantrithyd Place and there may be a connnection with the house," he added.

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Fresh Bronze Age treasure find
04 Mar 04 |  North East Wales

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