An ancient and rare medieval gold ring has been discovered by a person using a metal detector in South Creake, Norfolk, England. The ring -- which is believed to date between 1350 and 1430 -- is engraved with St. George and the dragon.
The historians believe the ring will provide clues about the medieval followers of the saint in Norfolk. Jonathan Good, the author of The Cult of St. George, said the ring “attests to the popularity of St. George,” BBC reported. The Norwich Castle Museum is set to acquire the ancient artifact.
Good, who is also an associate professor at the University of Georgia in Atlanta also said the ring could also belong to a guild member who would have adorned the ornament as a mark of respect and dedication toward St. George. During the medieval period, people formed guilds to celebrate a particular saint and pray for the dead guild members.
The gold ring depicts St. George spearing a dragon. The engraved picture has raised curiosity among the experts at the Norwich Castle Museum since St George was once a very popular saint in Norwich.
The Treasure Act of 1996 states any ancient object that contains more than 10 percent gold and silver and is more that 300 years old should be reported to the coroner, who then decides whether to declare it a treasure. An inquest in Norwich declared the recently discovered ring a treasure.
If a museum acquires any of such object, the discoverer is paid according to the market value as determined by British Museum experts.
“The ring was originally enameled, so like so much of the medieval statuary remaining to us today, what we see as one color would have originally been brightly variegated,” said Kathleen Kennedy of the Penn State-Brandywine in Media, Pennsylvania.