Treasure Hunter Finds £25,000 Gold Cross with Metal Detector

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The Anglo Saxon artefact is set with red gemstones and might have originally held a relic such as bone from a Disciple or fragment of the Cross.

Measuring just over an inch long, the 18 carat gold cross has been decorated with fine detail and is thought to have been worn as a pendant.

It is English made with gold that was probably melted down from Merovingian French coins.

Two of the red cabochon gemstones are missing as is the relic that would have been kept in its centre.

The red stones are among the world's most ancient gems and were used by ancient Greeks who called them granatum, the same word they used for pomegranate seeds.

The standard of preservation is remarkable and the anonymous finder knew immediately he had chanced upon a spectacular piece of history from an early English Christian.

He discovered the 1,400-year-old cross 12ins beneath the sod on a farm in Nottinghamshire.

The specific location is being kept secret for fear that so-called Nighthawks will descend on it in case there is anything else to be found.

The unnamed man focuses on raised ground because that is the most likely place to find treasure, as centuries ago the lower ground would all have been under water.

He said: "The farm had what I've come to call "quiet land", swathes of ground where the detector scarcely makes a sound.

"The near-silence in the headphones might lull the uninitiated into losing concentration.

"It has the reverse effect on me as I know that very shortly the silence will be broken by a positive signal that tells me I've found what was almost certainly a lost object, rather than a tossed-away bit of junk...

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