BBC News

Sapphire ring found near York 'could be royal'

image captionYorkshire Museum said the ring could have belonged to a king or consort

A sapphire ring found in a field near York could be older than first thought and may have been owned by royalty, the Yorkshire Museum has said.

The intricate Escrick Ring was thought to be between 900-1,400 years old but experts now believe it could have been made in the fifth or sixth century.

A group of experts convened by the Yorkshire Museum suggested it could have belonged to a king or consort.

The gold, glass and sapphire ring is on show at the museum in York.

It was found in a field near the village of Escrick by Michael Greenhorn from York and District Metal Detecting Club in 2009.

'Even more special'

Yorkshire Museum brought together a group of more than 30 experts from around the country to discuss the ring, to try to "reveal some of its secrets".

Its curator of archaeology, Natalie McCaul, said: "What this workshop has shown is that this sapphire ring is even more special than we had previously thought.

"Nothing like it has been found in this country from the fifth or sixth century."

The group also suggested that it was made in Europe and from the wear on the ring they determined it was worn for at least 50 years.

Further research will now be carried out by researchers at Durham University, who will use X-ray technology to examine how it was made.

More on this story

  • Escrick sapphire ring's mystery history sparks meeting