Metal detector pair find Saxon artefact

Treasure dating back to the seventh century has been discovered by two metal detecting enthusiasts.

Metal detector pair find Saxon artefact

West Bromwich father-of-two Patrick Etheridge and his friend Danny O'Beirnes, from Birmingham, came across the gold pendant while searching private farmland in Meriden.

About the size of a 10 pence piece, the Anglo Saxon pendant features designs and patterns consistent with items from the famous Staffordshire Hoard that was uncovered in 2009. It is now being kept in the British Museum in London where it is being analysed. The pair said they were "over the moon" at the find.

"Dan was walking across the field when suddenly he shouted 'come and have a look at this'," said steel worker Mr Etheridge, from Law Street.

"We thought it was modern at first but when we got in touch with the finds liaison officer we were told it was Saxon. The feeling is amazing. I can't explain it."

Mr Etheridge has been metal detecting for the past 40 years at sites in Wolverhampton, Dudley and Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich. He has uncovered thousands of items in that time, including a silver Roman brooch in Lichfield.

But he said the discovery of the pendant, which was buried in the middle of a field about five inches below the surface, was definitely among the best finds.

"To find Saxon artefacts anywhere – it's extremely rare," said the 62-year-old. "We are over the moon."

The pair have been told analysis will take between 18 months and two years.

Ian Richardson, treasure registrar from the British Museum's Portable Antiquities & Treasures Department, confirmed they had received the pendant.

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