Treasure hunters little big find

IPSWICH treasure hunters are today celebrating after unearthing a £10,000 Saxon trinket.The tiny gold artefact is no bigger that a finger nail, but experts have confirmed its value stretches into thousands of pounds.

IPSWICH treasure hunters are today celebrating after unearthing a £10,000 Saxon trinket.

The tiny gold artefact is no bigger that a finger nail, but experts have confirmed its value stretches into thousands of pounds.

John Hunt, of Dombey Road, found the piece embedded seven inches down in the soil of a farmer's field in Cotton.

He said: "I've heard this is the kind of thing you only find once in a lifetime. It's very, very rare.


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"I got quite a good blip on the metal detector so I knew there was something good down there.

"But your heart's pounding when you start digging, because you don't know what you're going to find.

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"When I found it I didn't really know what to do, but it was fairly exciting because I knew it was something good."

Mr Hunt started metal detecting eight years ago and already has a significant find in his searches.

About six months ago he and Mr Slinn unearthed a gold ring which was sold for £1,500.

But the current find puts it in shade. Experts at Ipswich Museum date it to the late 6th Century and have given a conservative estimate of £6-8,000.

And they have said it could fetch up to £10,000 if the saint it depicts can be identified.

It is made of gold and decorated with garnet and mother of pearl.

Mr Hunt has had 25 trophies in his tine with Ipswich Metal Detecting Club, but his Saxon find is easily his greatest achievement.

He said: "It's definitely the best thing I've ever found."

The artefact is now likely to be declared treasure trove and its value will then be decided by a panel of experts.

nHave you ever unearthed hidden treasure? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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