A centuries-old armorial ring discovered by a treasure hunter on the shores of Loch Lomond is expected to fetch around £10,000 at auction later this year.

Michelle Vall started the hobby of metal detecting just over two years ago and struck gold last November with the discovery of the ring with a family crest at Duck Bay.

Michelle, who was up visiting from Blackpool, declared the ring as a Scottish Treasure Trove to the National Museum in Scotland, but she was told last month, the museum did not want to purchase the ring which they said dated back to the 16th or 17th century.

The find was returned to her and will now be offered in an auction by Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) on September 10 at their auction rooms in Mayfair.

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The treasure hunter, who suffers from severe panic attacks and was unable to leave her house before she took up metal detecting to help overcome her fears and enjoy exploring the countryside, said: “Uncovering the ring was an unforeseen event as myself and husband were detecting on a field with no particular history of finds in the area.

“We were enjoying the peace and relaxation of our wonderful hobby, finding the usual ring pulls, tractor pieces and miscellaneous metal objects.

“So when I unearthed the ring, which was close to the surface, I knew straight away that it was something special.

“It shone with a distinct bright yellow colour as I carefully lifted it out of the dark muddy hole, where it had waited for at least 350 years.

“My calm mind changed to one of excitement.”

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According to the auction house, the gold band dates from 1640-80 and the crest belonged to the Colman family of Brent Eleigh, Suffolk who made their fortune in the mid-16th century from the cloth trade and used the the arms on the bezel of the ring from 1598.

This crest can be seen prominently displayed on the ledge slab of the tomb of Samuel Colman (1569-1653) in the parish church of St Mary, Brent Eleigh and and atop the Brent Eleigh village sign post.

Nigel Mills, DNW’s antiquities specialist, added: “The Colman seal ring is an excellent example of a high-status ring of the period, of which there are only a very limited number surviving in this condition.

“Metal detectorists like Michelle have contributed vastly to our knowledge by finding treasures that would have otherwise been unknown to exist.”

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