Metal detectorist discovers 300-year-old funeral ring in field

Treasure finder, John Startin-Taylor, said it was 'exciting' to find the 17th century jewellery piece Credit: BPM Media

A 17th century ring discovered in a Derbyshire field has been called ‘treasure’ after being unearthed in May 2021.

The historic piece was discovered by metal detectorist John Startin-Taylor and was officially classed as treasure at a Coroner's Court on Thursday 5 January.

The post-medieval jewellery is believed to be a mourning ring that would have been given out during a funeral.

A reference to the Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1662, Sir Thomas Gresley, is carved inside the bronze coloured band.

On the outside of the ring is a detailed pattern with the initials S.T.P engraved inside a small shield. 

Meghan King, finds liaison officer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, in a statement confirmed the ring to be over 300 years old as well as containing precious metal. 

Under the Treasure Act 1996 any artefacts believed to be over 300 years old and be made of 10% gold or silver must be reported to be declared treasure by a coroner.

After a short hearing, Assistant coroner Louise Pinder concluded that the ring was indeed treasure.

Museum’s will get the first opportunity to buy the ring, with the proceeds being split between the landowner and discoverer.

It’s reported that Derby Museum have expressed interest in bidding for the ring.

Following the decision, Mr Startin-Taylor said: "Thank you, it was indeed exciting. It would be lovely if I could go in the same field and find a ring to celebrate his birth (the person's funeral the ring was for)."