The stranger and the ring

When my father died he left me a ring which had once belonged to his father. But before long I was thrown into a panic – I had lost it. Racked with guilt, I tuned to a stranger for help.

Gold drew many to South Africa and it was gold that has just reaffirmed my faith in this muddled, mosaic nation.

As a Briton living in Cape Town, I recently received the call nobody wants. My father had passed away. After the funeral in England, my mother showed me dad’s will. It mostly went to her with one named item for me – a gold ring, worn for decades by dad and before him, by his own father.

The stranger and the ring

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Rare medieval St George ring found in Norfolk

A 600-year-old gold ring engraved with St George and the Dragon sheds new light on the saint’s medieval followers in Norwich, an expert has told the BBC.

The ring, found by a metal detectorist in South Creake, Norfolk, dates from between 1350 and 1430.

Dr Jonathan Good, author of The Cult of St George, said the ring “attests to the popularity of St George” and may be linked to a guild devoted to the saint.

The ring was ruled to be treasure at an inquest in Norwich this week.

It is set to be acquired by Norwich Castle Museum.

Rare medieval St George ring found in Norfolk

Large gold nugget found in Scotland

A nugget of gold found in a river in the Southern Uplands is thought to be the most significant discovery in Scotland in the past 70 years.

The 20 carat golden nugget, which weighed about 18.1g (0.6oz), has an estimated value of £10,000.

It was discovered by a Canadian man during a gold panning course near Wanlockhead in the Lowther Hills.

However the man, known as John, was so unimpressed by his discovery, he almost threw it back in the water.

Large gold nugget worth £10,000 found near Wanlockhead

At little over half an ounce, its real bullion value is less than £500. God knows where they get £10,000 from, unless it’s from Scottish sentimentality.

Italian detectorist finds WWII British soldier’s remains

The remains of a British soldier believed to have been blown up by a German mortar during the Second World War have been found by a metal detector enthusiast on a remote Italian hillside.

Officials are now trying to establish the identity of the serviceman – who is thought to be from the UK because his bones were found next to dozens of British Army issue bullets.

The skeleton was found in undergrowth close to the site where two other sets of remains – also identified as British servicemen – were discovered last year.

Pasquale Capozzolo found the skeleton on a hillside at Pellezzano, above the town of Amalfi, a picturesque coastal town popular with British holidaymakers and the scene of the bloodiest fighting.

The bones were discovered after Mr Capozzolo’s metal detector ‘pinged’. He dug down to discover dozens of British Army issue bullets which were in use with troops for the standard issue 303 Lee Enfield rifle.

Mr Capozzolo said: ‘I found the skeleton about half a metre or so down in the earth.

‘It hadn’t been buried and from the way the bones were scattered it looked as if he had been hit by an explosion. There was shrapnel around which was German so it looks as if he was hit by a shell.

Experts to identify mystery British WWII soldier whose remains were found by metal detector enthusiast on Italian hillside where he was blown up by German mortar

British Museum to buy Bronze Age axes

Experts at London’s British Museum have confirmed they want to buy two early Bronze Age flat axes unearthed in a Silsden field by a hobby metal detectorist.

When Edward Hannon isn’t serving up burgers and chips in his job as a fast-food worker, he is out and about in all weather with his metal detector.

It was one day in July last year he and friend Sarah Coultous, 43, stopped off by chance at a farm near Silsden to try their luck at treasure hunting.

Mr Hannon is staying tight-lipped about the exact location to prevent illegal digging for other artefacts.

British Museum to buy Bronze Age axes found at Silsden

Bronze Age lock-rings declared treasure

Two Bronze Age gold rings which were found by a metal detectorist on farm land in Wrexham have been declared treasure by a coroner.

The lock-rings – worn either as earrings or in the hair by a person of wealth and status about 3,000 years ago – were discovered in Rossett.

The ornaments will now go on display in Wrexham County Borough Museum.

Bronze Age rings found in Rossett, Wrexham, declared treasure

Gold in faeces ‘is worth millions’

Fortunes could be saved from going down the drain by extracting gold and precious metals from human excrement, scientists suggest.

Sewage sludge contains traces of gold, silver and platinum at levels that would be seen as commercially viable by traditional prospectors. “The gold we found was at the level of a minimal mineral deposit,” said Kathleen Smith, of the US Geological Survey.

Smith and her colleagues argue that extracting metals from waste could also help limit the release of harmful metals, such as lead, into the environment in fertilisers and reduce the amount of toxic sewage that has to be buried or burnt.

“If you can get rid of some of the nuisance metals that currently limit how much of these biosolids we can use on fields and forests, and at the same time recover valuable metals and other elements, that’s a win-win,” she said.

A previous study, by Arizona State University, estimated that a city of 1 million inhabitants flushed about $13m (£8.7m) worth of precious metals down toilets and sewer drains each year.

Gold in faeces ‘is worth millions and could save the environment’

Not sure I fancy taking the Deus into the sewers. Still, it seems to suggest that the UK could be flushing over half a billion quids worth of precious metals down the khazi every year. That’s almost £9 per person.