AN EARLY mediaeval gold ring found by metal detector enthusiast Matthew Herbert, 39, in a field near Tetbury, Glos, was declared treasure by a coroner today.

The find was not the first time Mr Herbert had unearthed treasure –several years ago he dug up a Roman gold earring on the same farmland.

The ring, which could be as much as 1,500 years old has been valued at between £6,000-8,000 and is now set to be bought by the Corinium Museum at Cirencester.

Transport manager Mr Herbert and landowner Brian Pickford will share the proceeds between them.

"I got a good signal from my metal detector and found the ring only 3-4" deep," said Mr Herbert, who is from Tetbury.

"It glinted and I knew straightaway it was gold. There's no mistaking it. My reaction was just amazement that I had struck gold again."

before reporting the find to Gloucestershire coroner Katy Skerrett, Mr Herbert had it valued by specialist auctioneers who priced it at £6,000-8,000.

At the inquest the coroner said an expert at the British Museum considered the ring to be late Saxon, Viking or early Mediaeval. It weighs 12.23 grams and is 91-2 percent gold and 8-9 percent silver.

The ring is made from three square rods twisted together and qualifies as Treasure because it is more than 300 years old and more than 10 percent precious metal, the coroner said.

"The Corinium Museum has expressed an interest in acquiring it," said the coroner. "The British Museum will attempt to do so if local efforts fail."

Mr Herbert said: "It is a beautiful ring – and I don't think it was made for a lady because it fits my ring ringer perfectly."