Amateur treasure hunter, unearths a 1,800-year-old Roman signet Golden Ring:
An amateur treasure seeker used a metal detector to unearth a 1,800-year-old gold Roman signet ring in Somerset.
Pest control officer Jason Massey, aged 45, found the rare piece of jewelry, which features an engraving of the Roman goddess of Victory, in a field near Crewkerne.
It is believed to have belonged to a ‘high status’ figure, possibly making it one of the most significant archaeological finds in Somerset’s history.
The current value of the ancient piece of jewelry is still being determined.
The ring is now in the hands of specialists at the British Museum in London.
It is believed to date from 200 to 300 AD.
Mr. Massey, who served in the British armed forces from 1989 to 1992, made the find at a site believed to have once been a high-status Roman villa as part of a charitable dig with the ‘Detecting for Veterans’ group.
‘The Somerset Archaeological team think we have discovered a very high-status villa complex, but more investigative work is needed,’ he told MailOnline.
Mr. Massey and the landowner will share fifty percent of any profits made from the ring once British Museum researchers had determined its value.
‘We have no idea how much [the ring] is worth – there is nothing like it in the UK,’ he said.
Detecting for Veterans unearthed sixty other Roman coins on Sunday as part of ongoing excavations at the Crewkerne site, which is south west of Yeovil.
Bronze and silver coins are more common than their gold counterparts, which were typically owned by Romans of rich and powerful stature.
Ciorstaidh Hayward-Trevarthen, finds liaison officer for South West Heritage Trust, told BBC News: ‘There is a couple of gold ring of that sort of date from Somerset but they are not common.
‘Gold is … an indication that the owner is fairly wealthy.’
The newly discovered ring features an engraving of Victoria, the Roman god of Victory, riding a chariot pulled by 2 horses.
Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts, and is often depicted with or in a chariot.