A TREASURE hunter is hoping to have uncovered a little piece of history with what he believes is a medieval ring he found in Northumberland.
Metal detectorist Jason Parkin spends most weekends scouring the countryside for forgotten riches that have lain buried for centuries.
And he is hoping to have found a significant piece after uncovering an engraved gold ring in a field near Alnwick at the weekend.
Jason, 42, a postman, said: “I got a signal and I dug down with my trowel about four inches and pulled up a clump of soil then I saw the gold glistening and knew it was a ring.
“I cleaned it up and it’s got a flower on it and an inscription of what looks like French.
“I think it’s from the 1400s and it’s got to have belonged to someone from the nobility. The location I found it was between two castles so I think it may have came from someone living there.
“I’m over the moon. To have something that’s been lost for hundreds of years and to be the first person to pick that up, it’s unbelievable.”
Now Jason, of Consett, will hand the ancient artefact over to a finds liaison officer before a coroner decides its fate.
“This has been my hobby since 1989,” said Jason, who only bought his new £850 metal detector a few weeks ago.
“There’s a group of us who do it. You have to put the research in then get the permission from the landowner so it takes patience but all that was worth it.
“I’ve found a few coins before but nothing on this scale. I couldn’t believe it. I’m still in shock. It’s mesmerising.”
Finds liaison officers are employed by the Government’s Portable Antiquities Scheme and report back to the British Museum.
Anybody who finds an item of treasure must report it to their nearest officer within 14 days.
But for archeology buff Jason, a member of the Blaydon and District Search and Recovery Club, the best place for his prize find would be where others can enjoy it. “I would like it to go into a museum on display,” he said.
In 2010, farmer Eric Robinson become a millionaire after selling a Roman helmet found on his land.
Mr Robinson, 56, was astounded when the helmet found on his Crosby Garrett farmland fetched a staggering £2.3m at auction.
He shared the fortune with the metal detector user from County Durham, who came across the 2,000-year-old find.