A GOLD ring found in a field near Sinnington last year has been officially classed as treasure by a Scarborough coroner.

This means that, following a valuation by the British Museum's Treasure Valuation Committee, the value of the ring will be split between the landowner and metal detectorist Steve Whitehead, who found it on a dig last September.

The value of the ring has been estimated at between £15,000 to £20,000.

Mr Whitehead said: "I think whatever the reward is, it's been earmarked. My wife wants a new kitchen."

After valuation, the ring is likely to be displayed at the Yorkshire Museum, who will also pay the value of the ring.

It was initially thought the ring may have a Royal connection. As the land once belonged to Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, Mr Whitehead hoped there may be a link. Unfortunately, a British Museum report in late October ruled this out.

The current theory is that the ring is most likely a "posy ring", a love token given by a knight to his lover, or vice versa, in the 14th or 15th century.

However, Mr Whitehead said that the museum may choose to bring in their own experts, so the provenance of the ring may yet change.

The ring is gold, with a bezel set with dark blue glass. The gothic inscription which runs around it reads approximately: "As good and evil always endure, quiet the evil in our heart".

The British Museum has a responsibility under the 1996 Treasure Act to process treasure finds from England and Wales. It is not known how long the valuation may take.

Mr Whitehead, who lives in Fulford, York, added: "This was the first time I've found anything like this, and the first time I've found treasure.

"The process was a bit daunting, there's a lot of things to go through."