Mystery ring is found by Iron Age hoard detectorist

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In 2012 Richard Miles and Reg Mead found an Iron Age hoard which contained around 74,000 coins, as well as gold and silver jewellery, in a field at Le Câtillon in Grouville, ending a 30-year search for the treasure. A similar but smaller hoard was found in the same field 60 years ago.

However, compared to the thousands of items the hoard eventually revealed, a single ring was all that was found this time.

Nonetheless, Mr Miles is intrigued to find out as much as he can about it.

From the hallmark and lion symbol engraved inside the band, Mr Miles has established it is a British silver ring, probably dating back 150 years, and by its battered and scratched appearance he believes it has been buried for many years. He says it was evidently made for a man with a large hand, as it is rather chunky and too big to fit on his thumb.

The Société Jersiaise is now appealing for information in an attempt to find out more about the ring and its owner.

‘I found it earlier this year when the sand levels at the northern end of St Ouen’s Bay were very low,’ said Mr Miles.

‘That is when you are most likely to find metal items such as silver and gold. I have found a few items of interest in the past but on this occasion this ring popped up and it appears to have been there for a very long time.’

He showed it to archaeologist Robert Waterhouse and Rosalind Le Quesne of the Société Jersiaise local history society, who were very interested in it and helped him to restore it, as it was badly corroded.

‘We could see there were some initials on it and a hallmark, and that it was made from silver. There are also initials engraved on the front of the ring but it is difficult to make out what they are.’

Although it could be a long shot after a century and a half, Mr Miles has hopes of finding out more about the ring and its owner. Close-up images and further details of the ring have been posted on the Société’s Facebook page, where information can be left.

Ironically, Mr Miles found the ring when he was helping a friend to find a lost wedding ring but he has not yet been successful in that search.

He says metal detectorists often get calls from Islanders who have lost items of jewellery and next on his list is to try to locate an engagement ring lost in the sand dunes.

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