Englishman finds medieval gold ring worth up to $87,000
Who doesn't know the stories surrounding the adventures of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest? It was indeed this heroic outlaw who put this part of England on the map. But now, the legendary forest has been attracting attention for a different reason after 34-year-old Mark Thompson made a spectacular finding in 2016.
Late last year, Mark was taking a walk through the fabled forest with his metal detector. When the device started beeping over a mound of earth, the Englishman's excitement grew in the hope of finding an old coin or similar artifact. What he actually uncovered proved to be much more remarkable than that though.
"I had been out metal detecting with a group for about 20 minutes when I heard the signal. I was really excited when I saw that it was gold, but I didn't realize at that point just how significant it might be," Mark recalled.
After digging for a while, Mark pulled out a gold ring adorned with a sapphire from the soil. His discovery is also engraved with an infant Christ on one side and a female saint on the other. If it's proven to be real, the amateur treasure hunter could sell the precious piece for up to $87,000 according to auctioneers Mark had consulted.
"It's the find of a lifetime — I never expected to unearth anything like that. I'm still in shock when I think about it. It was such an exhilarating moment," said Mark.
It is believed that the ring dates back to the 14th century. The sapphire is similar to the one found in the grave of William Wytlesey, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The 34-year-old also uncovered a gold coin next to the ring.
Mark's discovery was sent to the British Museum so that it could be analyzed. "If it does prove to be as valuable as we think it might be, it would completely change my life. I'm renting at the moment and I'd love to be able to buy a house or move into somewhere more comfortable," said Mark, who spray paints forklift trucks for a living.
Watch the following video to find out more about this incredible discovery:
This is the sort of finding you only really see in adventure movies, right? Who knows — Robin Hood himself may have once seized the ornate ring which could soon see Mark enjoying a considerable windfall.