York & North Yorkshire

Medieval 'love ring' found by metal detectorist sells for thousands

Lee Rossiter holding up a gold ring Image copyright Lee Rossiter
Image caption Lee Rossiter said he "couldn't believe my eyes" when he found the rare Tudor ring

A 15th Century gold "love ring" found by an amateur metal detectorist in a field near Harrogate has sold for an undisclosed five-figure sum.

The rare Tudor ring, which has a ruby and an emerald in a flower-shaped form, was found by Lee Rossiter in Green Hammerton on 19 April last year.

Mr Rossiter only took up metal detecting 18 months before the discovery.

"When I first found the ring, I couldn't believe my eyes," he said.

"Until then I had only found the odd silver coin, but this looked like a proper piece of jewellery, which seemed to be made of gold."

Image copyright Wartski
Image caption The ring has been bought by an antique dealer for an undisclosed sum

The double bezel chased ring is engraved in Medieval French "ne mem - bon" with a heart at the end.

The technical writer from Castleford, who is part of a metal detecting club, said he picked up the signal as he was walking back to his car to fetch his coat.

"One of my friends said it was far too yellow to be real gold and looked like costume jewellery.

"He told me I should just throw it away but the ring was relatively heavy and I thought I better ask our dig organiser.

"Luckily, he confirmed that this was definitely an antique ring, most likely Tudor Gold."

Image copyright Lee Rossiter
Image caption Lee Rossiter said he had only been metal detecting for 18 months before he struck gold

It has been sold to an antique dealer in a private sale after local museums were unable to raise funds to buy the ring.

Mr Rossiter said he turned to the hobby after his daughter rejected the equipment he bought for her via an auction website.