A local metal detectorist shared his delight after an "immaculate" roman ring he found in Prees was declared treasure.

John Parry, 77, found the ring on a “freezing cold” January day in 2020, and was overjoyed to discover it was in near immaculate condition.

John has been searching for historical treasures for more than 50 years both as a detectorist and as a diver where he has also searched sunken boats. He now regularly organises fundraising digs for charity recently raising nearly £2,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.


However, he was thrilled when he found the treasure whilst detecting with his fellow Cornovii Discoverers MDC club member Geny.

“Geny was soon away and digging enthusiastically and had recovered several copper coins within the first hour plus a few buttons whilst I had nothing so far to show,” said John.

“The frost had by now melted and the sun came out, but it was still bitterly cold.”

John went on to find a button, a George III penny and musket ball before he got an intriguing signal.

“Then I received one of those very faint but persistent signals, one of those ‘shall I dig it or shall I not?’ kind of signals,” said John “At first I was tempted to ignore, but something at the back of my mind reminded that the last time I had picked up a similar signal it turned up to be a cut quarter of an Edward I Penny.”

Whitchurch Herald:

John dug down around 15 inches into the ground before he found the piece of earth emanating the signal and tried to refill the hole as it began to fill in with water, almost sending the piece of earth back in with it.

“Quickly retrieving it again, I broke open the clay ball and almost fell backwards into the mud as staring back at me was a beautiful intaglio with a warrior-like figure carved into the lovely orange glow of the inset cornelian stone,” said John.

“It was a complete and virtually perfect Roman Seal Matrix Ring and believe it or not, almost poetically, the sun magically appeared.”

He then called to Geny “grinning from ear to ear”.

Whitchurch Herald:

“Ecstatic just might be an understatement,” said John. “I then proceeded to dance a jig or what I thought was appropriate at the time. Geny must have thought I had flipped my lid.

“When I ran over the field towards her, believe me I was actually still shaking from disbelief. I opened my hand and revealed the ring to her - her face was a real picture of amazement.

“The last person to wear the ring was obviously a person of high-status, hence the seal aspect, and was actually walking that very field around 2000 years ago.”

The ring was declared treasure at Shrewsbury Coroner’s court on Thursday (June 6) – the first time John has had one of his finds officially declared as treasure.

Finders of treasure are entitled to rewards from the Secretary of State linked to the value of their discovery.