Metal Detectorist Discovers 400-Year-Old Gold Posy Ring Engraved With 2 Hearts

By SWNS
SWNS
SWNS
July 11, 2021 Updated: July 11, 2021

A metal detectorist said he cried tears of joy after uncovering a 17th-century gold posy ring—which he claims could have been thrown away after a “lovers’ tiff.”

Robin Potter, 50, from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, found the 400-year-old ring in a farmer’s field and is now waiting to hear if the rare piece of jewelry will be claimed by the National Museum of Scotland.

Epoch Times Photo
Robin Potter, the metal detectorist who discovered a 400-year-old gold posy ring. (SWNS)

Potter, a full-time carer who found the ring in the month of June, said the day had started off pretty normally. The keen metal detectorist, who usually checks with the owner of the field he is going to detect, found this particular field empty.

“I had dug several signals which turned out to be random bits of iron and then on about the fifth signal I wasn’t going to dig it as it wasn’t that strong but I went ahead anyway,” Potter said. “I started to pull the soil apart and there it was, I could just see the side of the ring but I knew instantly it was gold.”

Potter then noticed that the outer engraving had flowers and a criss-cross pattern with entwined hearts on the ends. He also added that there are traces of blue enamel in the criss-cross pattern, which makes the ring rare. Whilst the inside of the special ring has an engraving that reads: “Gife parted hearts in paine.”

However, the word “hearts” had been replaced with two overlapping heart symbols.

Epoch Times Photo
The 17th-century gold posy ring. (SWNS)
Epoch Times Photo
(SWNS)

Posy rings, according to Potter, were given as a token of love between the 16th and 18th centuries, and they had a short poem inside that was kept a secret from all except the two lovers.

The name posy derives from the French word for a poem.

“When I found it I was so happy I cried. It really is a thing of beauty, and it is the first piece of gold that I have found since I started metal detecting around four years ago,” Potter said, recalling the special moment. “When you find something like this you go through a range of emotions from shock to pure joy.”

Potter says he believes that the ring, which is 15 millimeters in diameter, belonged to a woman or a girl. However, he is unsure of how it got lost.

“It could have fallen off on a cold day, it could have been thrown after a lover’s tiff or it could have been lost in the ‘heat of passion,’ who knows,” Potter said.

Epoch Times Photo
(SWNS)

Potter was legally required to report the ring to the Treasure Trove Unit of the National Museums of Scotland, as it’s more than 300 years old. After it goes through a legal process, the ring will be returned to Potter if it is not claimed by the National Museums of Scotland. He then plans to sell it and split the profit with the landowner of the farm in Helensburgh, where he found it.

The metal detectorist who has been detecting for four years now said that he “loves the variety of items that can be found as well as being out in the beautiful countryside.”

“Metal detecting has its pluses and minuses, the biggest minus is the amount of rubbish like tin cans and ring pulls that you find,” Potter said. “But things like this makeup for all of the rubbish.”

Epoch Times Staff contributed to this report.

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