A 17th century gold ring that once belonged to a Catholic martyr is expected to fetch around £10,000 at auction after it was unearthed on the banks of Loch Lomond by a metal detector.
Michelle Vall from Blackpool discovered the ring, believed to date from between 1640 and 1680, while combing the shoreline of Loch Lomond at Duck Bay near Balloch in West Dunbartonshire.
The ring belonged to Edward Colman, from Suffolk, a courtier under Charles II of England. He worked for James II of England (James VII of Scotland), who lived for a while in Edinburgh before he took the throne.
Colman was hanged, drawn and quartered on a treason charge in 1678, having been implicated by Titus Oates in his false accusations concerning a Popish Plot to kill Charles II. He was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
Mrs Vall only began metal detecting two years ago to help combat her panic attacks that had left her confined to her home.
Recalling the moment she discovered the ring, Mrs Vall admitted it came as a big surprise as her and her husband were detecting on a field with no particular history of finds in the area.
“We were enjoying the peace and relaxation of our wonderful hobby, finding the usual ring pulls, tractor pieces and miscellaneous metal objects.
“So when I unearthed the ring, which was close to the surface, I knew straight away that it was something special,” she said.
“It shone with a distinct bright yellow colour as I carefully lifted it out of the dark muddy hole, where it had waited for at least 350 years.
“My calm mind changed to one of excitement as I shouted Tony over, he was surprised to see the ring lying in the palm of my hand.”
Mrs Vall declared the ring, which is engraved with the Colman family crest, as a treasure to the National Museum of Scotland.
However, the museum did not want to buy it. She then contacted auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, who carried out research on the ring.
The ring will be auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb in London on 10th September.
Picture: Michelle Vall with the precious ring. (Dix Noonan Webb).