A RING has been officially declared treasure more than a decade after it was first found in a field at Mercaston.
Kenneth Fowlkes found the ring with a metal detector in January, 2000, and at an inquest held at Derby on Thursday last week, the ring was defined as treasure under the Treasure Act 1996.
Assistant deputy coroner Paul McCandless considered reports from experts at the British Museum and finds liaison officer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Rachel Atherton, at South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court.
In a report from the British Museum, the ring is described as a silver gilt post- Medieval silver gilt posy finger ring, with outer gilding worn away but visible on the interior. The ring bears the inscription: “+I LIKE MI CHOIES” and while this was a common inscription of the time, it is not clear what it refers to.
Mr McCandless said: “I’m told the use of capital letters suggests a late 16th to early 17th century date. Other such similar finds of a similar date have been found to be treasure. Consequently, with this specific find in terms of age and a minimum content of 10 per cent precious metal, it qualifies as treasure.” The finder of the ring, Mr Fowlkes, admitted in a report that he could not remember exactly where he had found the treasure, but knew it was in a field at Mercaston owned by an elderly gentleman.