David Taylor from Co Down, Northern Ireland gave the dirt-encrusted object a wash and phoned a museum to ask advice.
Yesterday, almost 18 months on, the grimy object he spotted in his brother-in-law Andrew Coutler's field near Kircubbin on the Ards peninsula was officially ruled to be treasure.
Mr Taylor said he was glad he had not heeded his wife Lynda."She thought it was a bull ring and said 'throw that in the bin'," he laughed after the ruling at a treasure trove inquest hearing at Belfast coroner's court.
The bracelet-shaped artefact, dated to 950-1100 AD, will now go for valuation by experts at the UK Treasure Valuation Committee.