Rare Roman ring found near Alford

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A RARE Second Century silver Roman ring has been discovered by a metal detectorist in a farmer’s field near Alford, a treasure inquest heard.

The ring, which has been reworked from a silver denarius coin featuring an image of the Roman Emperor Julia Maesa, is thought to be one of only two ever found in the UK.

Although Roman denarii are fairly common finds in Lincolnshire, finger rings reworked from the coins are usually only found on the continent.

Metal detectorist and amateur archaeologist Michael O’B made the rare discovery while searching on agricultural land in the Alford area in March last year.

Explaining his find to Coroner Stuart Fisher during an inquest held at Lincoln Cathedral Centre last Tuesday, Mr O’B said: “Lincolnshire is quite a prolific area but this is a very rare find – there’s only one find like it in the UK.”

Only one other similar coin-bezel is listed in the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, having been discovered in Chirton Wiltshire several years ago.

This latest find was considered to be of interest to the North Lincolnshire Museum and, being at least 300 years old and composed of more than 10 per cent gold or silver, has been confirmed as treasure by Coroner Fisher.

Mr O’B and land owner had agreed to an even share of the profits from any discoveries, which will be paid by the museum after a valuation, if it decides to include it in a collection.

Mr O’B who has been a keen metal detector for 35 years, also discovered a ‘Tot’ ring from the second or third century at a nearby area.

He explained that ‘Tot’ refers to the Celtic god Totus and most were found near to former shrines or temples.

He therefore believes the area where he found it to have been part of a large Roman complex.