Metal detectorist unearthed rare 17th century gold ring

Pensioner Tom Ross found the rare ‘Posy’ ring while sweeping his metal detector over a ploughed farmer’s field near Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. The delicate ladies adornment, which has been dated to the late 1600s and is 85% gold, bears the Old English inscription “I noght on gift bot gifer” – which translated means “Look not on the gift, but the giver”. Also known as a betrothal ring, it pre-dates the custom of proposing with an engagement ring, but essentially served the same purpose – men and women exchanged them from the 1500s onwards to symbolise their future commitment to each other.

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metal detector unearthed gold ring

This ‘posy’ ring was unearthed by Tom Ross, 69, in a farmer’s field near Newtownabbey, County Antrim
The ring, which dates back to the late 1600s and is 85 per cent gold, bears the Old English inscription ‘I noght on gift bot gifer’ (pictured), or ‘Look not on the gift, but the giver’

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