Monday, 23 May 2011

News - Gem discoveries are declared as treasure (Notts)

A MEDIEVAL stud and a 17th Century ring found in Notts were among the items classed as treasure at an inquest.

The hearing at Nottingham Coroners' Court heard that the gold and garnet stud was found by Nigel Somerfield, when metal detecting in north Notts last year.

The exact location of the find was not declared to prevent others digging up the land.

The stud was sent to the British Museum, where experts confirmed that it was a button from a sword scabbard.

It has been dated to the early seventh century, probably between 600 and 650AD.

The stud is small, but similar to items discovered in the Staffordshire Hoard – the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found, valued at more than £3 million.

As the stud was more than 300 years old and contained more than ten per cent precious metal, it was formally declared as treasure by Stephanie Haskey, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Notts.

She said: "The British Museum has said that museums are interested in acquiring the stud, but it is not clear exactly where it will go and whether it will join its more famous comparisons or stay locally."

Other items declared treasure at the inquest included a 18th Century silver thimble, found in Southwell by Gary Zdanowski and a gold ring found in Notts in July last year by Trevor Avis.

The ring has black enamel patterns on the outside and words engraved on the inside which roughly translate to say 'Let local amenity separate annuity'.

The court heard that it had been dated to the 17th Century and that similar items were exhibited in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The rings were often given as gifts between lovers and friends, and were sometimes used as wedding rings.

Newark and Sherwood museum have expressed an interest in acquiring the ring. Its value was not disclosed.

Miss Haskey thanked Mr Avis for reporting the item.

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