A MIDDLEWICH man stumbled upon a 17th century mourning ring while metal detecting, a court heard.

An inquest into the find was held to determine whether it was classified as treasure, and was heard before Jean Harkin at Crewe Municipal Building, on Thursday.

The court was told that Michael Farrington, of Chadwick Road, was taking part in his hobby in one of the town’s ploughed fields when he made the find, on November 1, 2010.

In a report from the British Museum, dated March 1, 2012, it stated that the find was from the 17th Century and a post-medieval golden mourning ring.

It also revealed there was an inscription on the interior of the band, stating: “Death is the waye of life.”

The court heard that the gold ring, which measures 3.5mm in width, 1.38mm in thickness and weighed 2.4grammes, had a ‘floral scroll’ on the black enamel exterior and was ‘consistent with a 17th Century date’.

Ms Harkin explained that because the find contained a minimum of 10 per cent precious metal, it qualified as treasure.

“Based on the evidence to date, I declare that this find is treasure under the Treasure Act and deliver a verdict as treasure accordingly,” she said.

“The finder and land occupier have been notified of today’s inquest and given the opportunity to attend.”