A METAL detection enthusiast scouring the South Yorkshire soil unearthed a 14th century gold ring studded with a ruby and an emerald, an inquest heard.
Metal finishing plant worker Paul McEvoy, aged 44, found the medieval finger ring just six inches beneath the surface .
He had been using his metal detector to search a stubble field in Thurcroft, near Rotherham.
Mr McEvoy, from Dinnington, told the Rotherham hearing: “I thought I had dug up a squash bottle top but it turned out to be a ring.”
He said on the day of his discovery he had been metal detecting for an hour - and had otherwise found only modern spoons, nails and a buckle.
The find, made in July, 2009 was verified by Beverley Nenk from the Department of Pre-History at the British Museum in London.
Landowners Judith and Hedley Leaning were at the inquest and said the land - which had been left fallow after growing wheat - was farmed by Richard Crowe from Tickhill.
It is not yet known how valuable the ring is or where it will end up.
Assistant deputy coroner Jonathan Godfrey declared the ring was officially ‘treasure trove’ under the Treasure Act.
He said: “I am satisfied that the item that was found by Mr McEvoy was a gold finger ring with two stones, one green and one red.
“Having regard to its age and that it is gold it is one of treasure.”
Afterwards Mr McEvoy, a member of the Worksop-based Dukeries Metal Detecting Society, said the nring was now in the hands of Retford Museum.
He said: “I would rather have it back eventually after it is valued.
“I have no idea how much it is worth at the moment.
“I have been metal detecting for 10 years in the local area just as far as Newark and Woodsetts.
“I have found ancient coins before but nothing like this.
“I knew it was something special straight away.
“I just rubbed the soil off the ring and saw the two stones glistening.”