Treasure hunter discovers 7th century pure gold cross, worth 25,000 pounds

August 7th, 2008 - 5:38 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 7 (ANI): A treasure hunter, using a metal detector, has discovered a pure gold cross dating from the 7th century, which is worth at least 25,000 pounds.

The anonymous finder discovered the 1,400-year-old cross 12 inches beneath the sod on a farm in Nottinghamshire.

The specific location is being kept secret for fear that so-called Nighthawks will descend on it in case there is anything else to be found.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the Anglo Saxon artefact is set with red gemstones and might have originally held a relic such as bone from a Disciple or fragment of the Cross.

Measuring just over an inch long, the 18-carat gold cross has been decorated with fine detail and is thought to have been worn as a pendant.

It is English made with gold that was probably melted down from Merovingian French coins.

Two of the red cabochon gemstones are missing as is the relic that would have been kept in its centre.

The red stones are among the worlds most ancient gems and were used by ancient Greeks who called them granatum, the same word they used for pomegranate seeds.

The standard of preservation is remarkable and the anonymous finder knew immediately he had chanced upon a spectacular piece of history from an early English Christian.

According to the unnamed man, the farm where he made the discovery, consists of swathes of ground where the detector scarcely makes a sound.

After probing the loose plough soil, the man was soon probing beyond twelve inches, and came in contact with a piece of metal, which was the gold cross.

My fingers closed on it and when I opened them I was gazing down, literally with my jaw dropped in astonishment, at the most wonderful find Ive ever recovered, he said.

Brett Hammond, of TimeLine Originals, a coins and antiquity supplier, was approached by the delighted finder.

According to Hammond, We helped him through the process and then it went to the British Museum where the experts examined it.

They confirmed its date by testing the gold and the next step is for a committee to decide on a value. Then, the finder will be rewarded and I expect he will split it with the landowner, he said. It is a unique item and difficult to put a price on, but I know I could easily get 25,000 pounds for it, he added. (ANI)

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