A metal detectorist found a 'magical' medieval ring in a field which is now set to raise thousands of pounds at auction.  
The Drayton Medieval gold ring (above), set with a sapphire and bearing an inscription believed to be magical dates from about 1200 -1300AD.

The magical Lombardic script reads ‘NI ONAN NRIO ONIC/ NIAI AINO NAN’. It is estimated to sell for £5,000-£7,000 at Timeline Auctions on June 4.

READ MORE: Police object to Oxford United stadium plans 
The ring was found by Chris Weir who was out with his metal detector near Drayton, Abingdon, on September 16, 2018.

Declared as treasure under the Treasure Act, it was subsequently disclaimed and returned to Mr Weir.

Oxford Mail: The Drayton medieval gold ring
 A spokesman for Timeline Auctions said: "It is astonishing that a country like Britain that has been so excavated by archaeologists and dug up by treasure hunters is still producing many wonderful finds thanks to the fraternity of metal detectorists."
Aaron Hammond of Timeline Auctions comments: “There must be a few thousand people who are metal detector hobbyists.

"It constantly amazes me what they turn up, items that might never have been seen again without their efforts and enterprise. Each object, however modest helps to illustrate our knowledge of Britain’s past and is thus of great significance.”
Anyone who digs up valuable treasure is required to report the find, not hang on to it or sell it to the highest bidder, but to take it the authorities.

As metal-detecting equipment becomes cheaper and more easily available, and more people take up the hobby, more items are being discovered.

Oxford Mail: Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook in Detectorists
 The law varies across the UK. In Northern Ireland, it is illegal to remove any archaeological items from the ground without the landowner’s written consent. All objects found must be reported within two weeks.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you need permission from the landowner to go metal-detecting, unless the site is historically protected, in which case all metal-detecting is illegal

 If you find treasure you may be in line for financial compensation from the Government.

Timeline Auctions is known for selling metal detecting finds, and will offer free valuations to any metal detectorists (ah@timelineauctions.com.

The popularity of the BBC comedy drama series Detectorists is likely to have encouraged more people to try out metal detecting.

Oxford Mail: Toby Jones

Starring Toby Jones, who was a pupil at Abingdon School, and Mackenzie Crook, Detectorists ran for three series between 2014 and 2017.

The series is set in the fictional small town of Danebury in north Essex.

The plot revolves around the lives, loves and metal-detecting ambitions of Andy and Lance, members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club.

The main filming location for the series was Framlingham, a small market town in Suffolk.

Christmas specials were screened in 2015 and 2022.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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