A 400-YEAR-OLD gold mourning ring found in Hambleden has been declared treasure.
It was discovered by Raymond and James Stone buried in cultivated land during a legal commercial detecting event on April 6.
The post-medieval hoop is complete but slightly misshapen due to old damage. It is plain, except for a death’s head engraved into the outer surface which may once have been enamelled.
The inner surface is inscribed in Latin reading: “John. Green. Esqs. obt. 6. July. 87 — æta. 63.” Translated, this means: “John Green Esquire, died 6 July, 1687 aged 63.”
There is also a maker’s mark “IC” in Roman capitals within a rectangular punch, indented on all sides.
An inquest at Buckinghamshire Coroner’s Court heard that a John Green, of Yewden Manor in Hambleden, died in 1687 and is commemorated in Church of St Mary the Virgin in the village.
The ring is 1mm thick, weighs 2.73g and measures 20.3mm in diameter with a 3.7mm wide hoop. It contains at least 10 per cent precious metal.
The court heard it its similar to rings in the British Museum from around the same time which are thought to have been produced in London. The coroner found that the ring is more than 300 years old so qualifies as treasure under the Treasure Act 1996.
Museums can now express an interest in the ring, the value of which will be determined by a treasure valuation committee with the help of an expert. The finders may be entitled to a share of the value.
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