Saxon ring find may be worth thousands

A METAL detecting enthusiast is celebrating his most precious discovery - part of a Saxon ring believed to be worth several thousand pounds.John Hunt discovered the gold bezel while using his new metal detector for the first time on farmland at Cotton, near Stowmarket.

By Danielle Nuttall

A METAL detecting enthusiast is celebrating his most precious discovery - part of a Saxon ring believed to be worth several thousand pounds.

John Hunt discovered the gold bezel while using his new metal detector for the first time on farmland at Cotton, near Stowmarket.

It has since been described by archaeologists as a unique find, and has already attracted the interest of Ipswich Museum.

The item, which appears to depict the face of a saint-like figure on the front and is encrusted with garnets, enamel and mother of pearl, is initially thought to be worth between £5,000 and £8,000.

But after a period of special cleaning and further research, the bezel could fetch much more.

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Mr Hunt, who is a member of the Ipswich Metal Detecting Club and lives in Dombey Road in the town, said: "It's definitely the best find I have had so far. You only get one chance to find something like that.

"I've just bought a new metal detector. It was a nice sunny day and so I thought I would go out for a couple of hours and that's when it happened.

"I knew it was gold but I didn't realise it was worth so much. The Ipswich Museum want it and said they would have it whatever the asking price."

Mr Hunt, a retired scaffolder, has taken part in the hobby for eight years and it is not the first time that he has stumbled across important local treasure.

Last year, he found a gold ring dating back to the 15th Century as he scoured a farmer's field in Brockford.

The ladies' ring, believed to be worth about £3,000, was discovered using Mr Hunt's 950 metal detector during an outing with fellow enthusiasts Mick Seager and Andy Slinn.

"It's a nice hobby. Two to three hours a week is plenty long enough," he said.

"It's definitely a nice feeling when you find something."

The latest discovery is set to go to a treasure trove inquest in the near future.

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