A would-be-treasure-hunter was combing through Sherwood Forest one day when his metal detector suddenly sounded. He thought it was something innocuous at first, until he caught a glint of gold. What he discovered turned out to be hundreds of years old, and worth much more than he expected.
In 2016, Mark Thompson was hunting for treasure in Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest in Newark, Nottinghamshire in England, when his metal detector sounded and he started digging. The glinty object, caked in dirt, turned out to be a ring, which, after the dirt was removed, he saw had a sapphire and an engraving, he told NTD.
Additionally, he also found a gold coin. Both treasures date back to the 14th century, he said, adding: “We have a lot of treasures here in England.”
According to various media reports, 34-year-old Thompson, who makes a living by spray-painting fork-lift trucks, hadn’t expected to find a medieval ring.
When he consulted auctioneers, he was told the ring could be worth between £20,000 and £70,000 (approx. US$25,580 and $89,500).
“I had been out metal detecting with a group for about 20 minutes when I heard the signal. I was really excited when I saw that it was gold, but I didn’t realize at that point just how significant it might be. I called my friend who came down to take a look and help see whether there was anything else related nearby,” he recalled.
“It’s the find of a lifetime—I never expected to unearth anything like that. I’m still in shock when I think about it—it was such an exhilarating moment. If it does prove to be as valuable as we think it might be, it would completely change my life,” he continued, adding, “I’m renting at the moment and I’d love to be able to buy a house or move into somewhere more comfortable.”
The ring, believed to date back to the 14th century, was engraved with an infant Christ on one side and a female saint on the other side.
If the ring is positively authenticated by the British Museum after tests, it will be appraised by experts and offered to museums to purchase. Thompson would then collect a finder’s fee.