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Noonans to sell ring linked to Queen Edith

When detectorist Peter Pawel went out detecting in June 2021, he told his daughter ” I’m going to bring you home some gold today.“. The 10th century gold and enamel ring that he found that day is now in Noonans auction on 28 November and expected to fetch between £8,000 – £12,000.

Finding the ring

Peter was out detecting with the Sussex Metal Detecting Group on 21 June 2021 in a field near Greatham, West Sussex.

Peter and the ring. Photo © Noonans

Peter continues the story: “It was Father’s Day so I only planned on detecting for a couple of hours then I would take her to the restaurant. I got a signal and dug down four inches and saw a yellow colour in the clump of clay.

I thought it was just a cheap plastic funfair item, but then looking closely it looked like it could be gold. I took it to the dig organiser and they said straight away it was Anglo-Saxon.”

He added: ‘When I showed [my daughter] Maya the ring she was very excited and that’s when it sunk in for me too.”

Reporting the find

Peter’s find was recorded at the PAS as SUSS-2F13E8, where it was considered to be a Find of Note of Regional Importance. It went through the Treasure process and was disclaimed.

PAS record SUSS-2F13E8.
Photo Sussex Archaeological Society CC By SA2.0

As the PAS image shows, the ring was a bit crumpled when found and has subsequently been straightened although there is still a small piece missing in the hoop.

Queen Edith

The auctioneer details a possible connection with Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. The find site of Greatham is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 but in the Anglo-Saxon era it was an agricultural community and named Terra Regis (Land of the King); it bordered the Royal hunting forest of Woolmer and the river Arun. The manor house owned by Queen Edith, the widow of Edward the Confessor and regarded as the richest woman in England. She was the daughter of Earl Godwine of Wessex, who was the father of Harold II.


The ring is Lot 56 in Noonans auction of “Jewellery, Watches, Silver and Objects of Vertu” on 28 November 2023. It has a estimate of £8,000 to £12,000.

Nigel Mills, Noonans coins and artefact specialist, said: “The ring is a 10th-century gold finger ring decorated with filigree and inlaid on the bezel with green and blue enamel forming an expanding cross. Lavish rings from the 10th and 11th century are rare and normally have a religious significance.

Peter, the finder, will share the proceeds with the landowner. He said “It is a special, unexpected find and if it sells I want to take my family on holiday.”

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