IT is the kind of find that would have had Andy and Lance from BBC's The Detectorists series foaming at the mouth.

A metal-detecting stint on the shores of Loch Lomond has came up with a real treasure - a gold armorial ring dating from the 17th century.

It is now being offered in an auction and is expected to fetch around £10,000.

The finder was Michelle Vall, who started the hobby of metal detecting just over two years ago, and found the ring engraved with a family crest last November.

Found at Ducks Bay, on the shores of the loch she declared the ring as Scottish Treasure Trove to the National Museum of Scotland. She was then told in June of this year that the museum did not want to purchase the ring which they said was 16th or 17th century in date. Surprised but delighted to have the ring returned to her Ms Vall then contacted Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) who are conducting the auction.

The auctioneers further researched the ring and discovered that the crest belonged to the Colman family of Brent Eleigh, Suffolk who used the arms on the bezel of the ring from 1598, while the ring is thought to date from 1640-80.

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The crest can be seen prominently displayed on the ledge slab of the tomb of Samuel Colman, who died in 1653 in the parish church of St Mary, Brent Eleigh and and on top the Brent Eleigh village sign post.

The Colman family made their fortune in the mid 16th century from the cloth trade, in the Suffolk town of Lavenham. The family invested their wealth into land, and in 1607 Samuel Colman purchased the manors of Brent Eleigh and Fennhall, and the family rose to rank amongst the Suffolk gentry.


Ms Vall, a teaching assistant from Blackpool, who suffers from severe panic attacks was unable to leave her house before she took up metal detecting and has found it helps her to overcome these fears and enjoy exploring the countryside.

She said: “Uncovering the ring was an unforeseen event as myself and 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.

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"So when I unearthed the ring, which was close to the surface, I knew straight away that it was something special. 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.”

It is not the first time Ms Vall has struck paydirt while metal-detecting.

After gaining permission from a local land owner she found a gold hammered coin within a few minutes of searching. The coin ended up being an extremely rare gold half angel struck during the reign of the infamous Richard III. With only a handful known to exist the coin subsequently fetched £40,800 at auction in December 2017.

DNW’s antiquities specialist, Nigel Mills, said: “The Colman seal ring is an excellent example of a high status ring of the period, of which there are only a very limited number surviving in this condition. Metal detectorists like Michelle have contributed vastly to our knowledge by finding treasures that would have otherwise been unknown to exist.”

DNW are conducting the auction on September 10 at their auction rooms in Mayfair.