15th Century Ring Found By Treasure Hunter Sells For £35,000. The British Museum has confirmed a local man with a metal detector discovered a 15th century relic on one of his walks. A treasure hunter unearthed a small fortune after a ring he discovered turned out to be a 15th century jewel worth a whopping £35,000. A metal detectorist discovered the historic gold, enamelled relic near Launde Abbey, an Elizabethan manor house in Leicestershire – which was once the home of Thomas Cromwell’s son. Experts have described the artefact as extremely lavish – with the point-cut diamond and rounded ruby reportedly reflecting the bond between husband and wife. The finder, who lives locally, then handed the ring to his local council – who asked the British Museum to investigate its history.
It was given a minimum guide price of £20,000 at Sotheby’s. But after bidding on the relic began on 09 July 2015 it reached an impressive £35,000 – with the money split between the treasure hunter and the land owner. Erik Bijzet, Sotheby’s Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art specialist, explained: ‘The British Museum identified it as a 15th Century ring and then it was handed over to us and we narrowed it down to the last two decades of that century. The Portable Antiquities Scheme has found some extraordinary lots over the years and this is certainly one of the best rings we have had in a long time.’
Launde Abbey was taken over by Thomas Cromwell as part of the dissolution of the monasteries, but he was executed in 1540 before he could move into the stately home.