PENSIONER Joan MacLeod has been reunited with the wedding ring that slipped from her finger 55 years ago.

She and husband Duncan, both 77, long ago gave up hope of seeing it again, and bought a replacement.

But a metal detectorist who had been working near their home in Inverness offered to have a go, and took less than two hours to find the 22 carat gold band.

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It disappeared as Mrs MacLeod helped her parents gather corn on their croft at Kirkhill in August 1958.

But a chance meeting with Eric Soane finally ended their hunt. Mr MacLeod saw the metal detectorist working his machine in the field and decided to set him a new challenge.

"He produced this little plastic bag from his pocket and said 'look what I found'; I just thought I would hit the floor," said Mrs MacLeod.

Mr Soane, 75, of Tornagrain, near Nairn, is one of the top three suppliers of treasure trove in Scotland.

He said: "I dug down about six inches and I saw it straight away. The ring was shining bright."