A metal detectorist has spoken of his shock after discovering two halves of the same valuable gold ring – a year apart.
Pensioner Paul Schorn, 69, discovered the first half of the broken 14th century ring in a field near Winchester in England, in December 2016.
He went back to the ancient site numerous times until he unearthed the second part just a few yards from the first find over a year later.
Mr Schorn pieced the two together like a jigsaw to make the ring whole again.
Aptly, the medieval ring has a depiction of a forget-me-not flower engraved on the face.
Mr Schorn, from Lee-on-Solent, hopes to keep the ring and get it repaired. Once fixed, the find could be worth up to £12,000 ($16,600).
Under the Treasure Act 1996, it is up to a coroner to decide whether such finds are ‘treasure’ or ‘finders keepers’.
If the coroner deems the find to be ‘treasure’, then it will have to be handed over to a museum and the finder will get a reward.
Having spoken to the finds liaison officer at his local council, the treasure hunter is confident he will be allowed to keep his prized discovery.
The retired Royal Navy master-at-arms is hoping to get the ring put back together properly later in the year.
‘Ever since I discovered the first part of the ring I went back and kept going over and over the same field to see if I could find the rest of it.
‘I was amazed when I saw the second half pointing up at me.
‘I didn’t even have to dig for it, it was just there. I put the two parts together and they fitted perfectly.
‘If I am allowed to keep it I will look into having the ring properly restored and rerounded,’ said Mr Schorn.
The amateur metal detector visited the field several times looking for the second part of the ring which he eventually found in the ground close to the first find, in Winchester.
Winchester was the capital city of England up until the successful invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, at which point the capital city moved to London.
Although the city was no longer the head of the nation, it still played an important role in the country as a prominent city throughout the Dark Ages.
The city would have been home to several powerful and successful people of the time, one of which likely owned the ring.
Katie Hines, the finds liaison officer at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘Although unusual to find different parts of a broken object over a period of time, it can happen.
‘But there are also lots of finders who have discovered part of something and desperately look for the other part of it and never find it.
‘It will probably be a couple of months before we know the conclusion of the case. I need to report it to the coroner as potential treasure and if it is, we will ask the local museums if they would like to acquire it.
‘If they do decide to acquire it, Paul and the landowner will be paid an ex gratia reward for the ring fragment.
‘If a museum doesn’t acquire it, it will be disclaimed by the coroner and returned to Paul and the landowner.
‘The ring’s historical value is great in enhancing our knowledge not only about the object but about where it was found too.’