Mike Burke, from St Just, England, discovered a 2000-year-old ring Roman intaglio ring, dating from around the 1st or 2nd century AD, in his garden.
He found the ring with the metal detector his wife, Julie, bought him a for Christmas after they had watched the television series ‘The Detectorists’, according to Cornwall Live.
Mr Burke said: “I don’t normally have permission to go metal detecting in my front garden, because my wife’s got a lot of flowers out there. But I decided since everything was dying back and we were getting ready to rake everything up – I was like, it’s no problem, she won’t mind me going in there.”
“Around 6-10 inches down, I noticed a little fleck of gold – well, something that looked like gold. I didn’t know if it was an old bottle top or something, because I find them all the time. But when I pulled it out, it was a gold ring.”
Burke enjoys metal detecting as a hobby: “It helps me relax. Even if I’m out with a group of 40 other people, I stick on the headphones, go walk around a field and I’m all by myself in peace and quiet except for the beeps and bops that are coming off the metal detector.”
Thinking that it could be something important, he lightly rinsed it off with water and shared pictures of it on a metal detecting Facebook group, asking if he ‘had something’.
The first response was ‘That’s treasure! You need to contact FLO (The Finds Liaison Officer).’
The retired US military police officer turned math teacher has now passed on his discovery to the local FLO from Museum of Cornish Life, who will then pass on any potential treasure to the county coroner to get officially confirmed and recorded.
At this stage, museums can buy the treasure or, if they are not interested, return it to the finder.
The unearthed ring could provide more information about Romans in Britain, where their influence was not thought to have reached West Cornwall.