old ring

A METAL detectorist says his wife is his lucky charm after finding a medieval gold ring worth £7,000 when she joined him for the first and only time at a rally.

Chris Weir, 53, took up the hobby to relieve stress while Lisa Weir, 52, was going through a double lung transplant.

The medieval gold ring has been valued at £7,000

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The medieval gold ring has been valued at £7,000Credit: BNPS
Chris Weir found a valuable gold ring when his wife Lisa joined him for the first time on a metal detecting trip

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Chris Weir found a valuable gold ring when his wife Lisa joined him for the first time on a metal detecting tripCredit: BNPS

For the next eight years, she never came with him to a rally as she thought it was a ‘boring’ hobby.

But after nearly a decade of Chris asking her to join him, she finally agreed to attend an event to see why he was so keen on it.

They travelled to a site near Drayton, Oxfordshire, and Chris spent the morning detecting while she sat in the back of their truck and watched.

Chris almost called it a day at lunchtime after finding only plastic cans and bottle tops in a farmer’s field.

He thought she would be relieved at an early finish but, to his surprise, she told him to keep trying in the afternoon.

An hour later, he got a strong signal near a path which other detectorists had ignored due to so much strewn litter.

Chris dug down just 2ins and saw a glint of gold before bending over and retrieving the 13th century ring which he cradled in his hand.

Overcome with excitement, he ran 50 yards back to the car where Lisa was waiting and showed her his impressive find.

The ring, which has a bezel developing into a pyramid and a sapphire gemstone, has been through the Treasure Process.

It was disclaimed as treasure so Chris can now sell it at Timeline Auctions, of Harwich, Essex, splitting the proceeds 50/50 with the landowner.

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Chris said he would spend the money on a gift for his wife and a new detector.

Despite bringing him good luck that day in September 2018, she has not been detecting since.

Chris, who has an excavator business, said: “My wife had a double lung transplant in 2010 and I started detecting as it was the only thing that helped me relax.

“She had never been on a dig before and the day I found the ring was the first time she had ever joined me.

“I think she was like the woman on the TV show the Detectorists who thought detecting was a bit stupid.

“That morning was rubbish to be honest and all I found was stereotypical cans and bottle tops.

“I wanted to pack it in at lunch but she actually told me to keep going.

“She said ‘we haven’t driven all the way here from Bristol for you come back with nothing’.

“An hour later, I was detecting near a path where there were lots of cans so I don’t think anyone else had gone to the area.

“I got a signal and dug down 2ins and there was this glint of gold.

“You get used to a sense of disappointment as a detectorist but this time when I picked up the ring I could see it was special.

“I cradled it in my hands and ran back 50 yards to my wife in the truck.

“I said look what I found and she said ‘wow, that’s nice’.

“I then called my detecting buddy Darren Hamilton-Welsman, who has prostrate cancer so he could not come to the rally.

“My wife has never been detecting with me since but that day she was my lucky charm.

“I think it is only fair I buy her a gift with the money (from the sale), and maybe get myself a new detector.”

The ring has an inscription on it which may be a ‘magical chant or charm’.

A Timeline Auctions spokesperson said: “The ring was declared as Treasure under the Treasure Act and subsequently disclaimed and returned to the finder, Chris Weir.

“Many late medieval rings and brooches bear similarly meaningless inscriptions, perhaps due to the illiteracy of the engraver who nevertheless was aware that customers required an inscription, so provided one.

“Alternatively, since the text is composed from repeated sequences based on an open syllabic structure, the words may be intended as a chant or magical charm.”

The sale takes place on June 4.

Chris nearly gave up looking for anything valuable after finding nothing in the morning

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Chris nearly gave up looking for anything valuable after finding nothing in the morningCredit: BNPS
Chris found the gold ring while searching in a farmer's filed in Oxfordshire

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Chris found the gold ring while searching in a farmer’s filed in OxfordshireCredit: BNPS



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