Solid gold ring with inscription similar to the one in Lord of the Rings is found in a farmer’s field

Solid gold ring with inscription similar to the one in Lord of the Rings is found in a farmer's field

Solid gold ring with inscription similar to the one in Lord of the Rings is found in a farmer’s field

Centuries after it was last seen, a gold ring engraved with a romantic message was unearthed.

Amateur treasure hunter Morley Howard was metal detector when he found his find in a recently ploughed field in Highbridge, Somerset.

The ring is thought to be a 300-year-old posy ring, traditionally given by lovers in the Elizabethan times, with a Lord of the Rings-style inscription reading ‘ In thee my choys I do rejoys. ‘

Mr Howard, from Burnham-on-Sea, is now waiting for the ring to be dated by the British Museum.

He said: ‘When previously metal detecting on this land I’d only unearthed pre-decimal and modern items, but when the farmer recently ploughed the land, I thought I’d give it a couple of hours again.’

Mr. Howard said he’d searched the field before but decided to have another go after it was ploughed
Mr. Howard said he’d searched the field before but decided to have another go after it was ploughed
Mr Howard, of Burnham-on-Sea, said the ring is the most exciting find he’s had in four years of treasure hunting
Mr Howard, of Burnham-on-Sea, said the ring is the most exciting find he’s had in four years of treasure hunting

‘My metal detector was quiet initially, but just as I was about to turn around, my machine gave a good strong signal and I dug a small plug and lifted the soil to reveal a small band of yellow.

‘It was a marvellous moment – I thought what a loss it must have been for the owner at the time, but it was also a joy for me to get a treasure find.’

He took the ring to the Somerset Heritage Centre before sending it on to the British Museum where it will be verified by jewellery experts.

But Mr Howard believes it is an Elizabethan posy ring, which were traditionally given by lovers with romantic messages engraved on the inside in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

He said: ”Many posy rings were made for women and are smaller, but this one is a male ring and weighs 6.8 grams.  It’s hard to date as there are no maker’s initials or hallmarks.

The inscription reads: ‘In thee my choys I do rejoys’, which is a typical message found in gold posy rings
The inscription reads: ‘In thee my choys I do rejoys’, which is a typical message found in gold posy rings

‘These posy rings can have a value of between £1,500-£4,000, and if it’s proven to be more than 300 years old it will be offered to a local museum to acquire.

‘If a museum wants it, they’ll have to pay the land owner 50 per cent and myself 50 per cent once it’s been valued.

‘If the ring is not acquired by a museum, then it’s returned to me and the landowner and we’ll decide what to do with it.’

The inscription is typical for a ring of the period.

Burnham-on-Sea dates back to Roman times, making it a favourite with treasure hunters.  In 1607 the Bristol Channel flooded, swamping Burnham and leaving many treasures buried under the mud the water brought.

Jessica Saraceni has been a part of Histecho Since 2018, drawn to the site for its quirky character and through Articles about the Mysteries of earth and human behavior. previously, she was an assistant editor and Research fellow at Archaeology magazine, where she gained an appreciation for the field work. A master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental science from the Center for Archaeological Research, the University of Texas at San Antonio. She enjoys all forms of exercise; reading works by her favorite author, Haruki Murakami; and playing with her sons.