York & North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Museum buys rare sapphire ring

Sapphire ring purchased by the Yorkshire Museum
Image caption Experts are to examine the ring to try and discover more about when it might have been produced

A rare sapphire ring, discovered by a metal detector enthusiast, has been bought by the Yorkshire Museum.

The museum has raised £35,000 to purchase the piece of jewellery, which archaeologists described as a "spectacular" find.

The ring, found near York and measuring 2.5cm across, could have been made as early as the 7th Century.

It was found by Michael Greenhorn from the York and District Metal Detecting Club in April 2009.

Mr Greenhorn said: "There were 25 of us from the club on one of our regular outings. I'd not found anything at all and reached the end of the field when I got a signal.

"I dug down, saw a glimpse of gold and there the ring was. It is just a wonderful thing to have found."

Natalie McCaul, assistant curator of archaeology at the Yorkshire Museum, said: "What is most intriguing for us is nothing like this has ever been found before in this country, which makes it incredibly difficult to date."

The museum now plans for experts to come and examine the piece to establish more information about it.

Mr Greenhorn said he was "delighted" the ring had been purchased by the museum.

"It is mind-blowing to think something you found is now going to be displayed alongside other amazing finds like the Vale of York Hoard and the Middleham Jewel," he said.

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