A Medieval Wedding Ring Thought To Be 'Scrap Metal' May Actually Be Worth Tens Of Thousands

You've heard it said a million times that one man's trash is another man's treasure. For some of us, the biggest trash can and treasure chest on earth is the earth itself, which is why metal detectives take to the soil to find buried luxuries that nobody would ever think were there for the taking. Popular Mechanics reports that there is likely some $60 billion dollars worth of sunken treasures residing on the ocean floor and in capsized ships, but for those of us who can't afford a state of the art submarine with James Cameron in the captain's chair, sifting through the dirt for precious metals will do just fine. 

For David Board, it turned out to be more than just fine. According to CNN, Board, 69, was perusing the English countryside in 2019 with his metal detector just outside of Thorncombe when the device picked up on something. Within a matter of minutes, Board was holding in his hand what he would later describe as a "once-in-a-lifetime find." 

The $47 thousand dollar wedding ring

The tiny object that Board initially mistook for a mere piece of scrap metal turned out to be a medieval wedding ring worth between $35,000 and 47,000 dollars (£30,000 and £40,000). "It was once I got home and washed it off that we realized it was a lot better than we thought," he told CNN shortly after his miraculous discovery. Shockingly, it was only his second time ever taking to the field with a metal detector. Board explained that, after his first experiment with the sport in the 1970s that proved fruitless, he gave it up for 50 years. Then, in 2019, he decided it was worth a second go around. 

According to People magazine, Board requested permission from the landowner to do some treasure hunting in a large pasture. Luckily, he chose the right one, as the medieval wedding ring he found was in near perfect condition and turned out to be worth a hefty sum of cash. 

Where did the ring come from?

Following Board's discovery, experts commenced investigative efforts to uncover the ominous ring's origins. According to CNN, the ring sports an inscription in French that reads, "Ieo vos tien foi tenes le moy," meaning "I hold your faith, hold mine" in English. They managed to connect the artifact to its likely owner, one Joan Brook, who married her husband Thomas Brook in the year 1388 (we're genuinely sorry if you were holding out for something a little more Tolkien-esque that involved orcs and hobbits and a grand quest to vanquish evil), and has since been labeled The Lady Brook Medieval diamond ring. 

The Brooks were reportedly an affluent family who presided over the area for a long time and brought prosperity and commerce to the region. Board's once-in-a-lifetime find isn't destined to be his last, either. He told CNN back in 2019 that he planned to continue his hunt for artifacts of the old world with his trusty metal detector by his side. After all, who says outrageous fortune can't strike twice in a lifetime?