Metal Detectorist Discovers Gold Ring Possibly Linked to Royal Family


Lars Nielsen was casually using his metal detector while exploring the Emmerlev area in Denmark when he made quite the surprising discovery: a large and luxurious-looking gold ring set with a red semiprecious stone. It turns out it’s much more than just a nice piece of jewelry that someone might have left behind. 

Researchers have been looking into the ring’s origins and believe that it dates back to the 5th or 6th century. According to the Danish news site Via Ritzau, the discovery seemingly points to the long-ago presence of an unknown royal family in the area with close ties to the Merovingians, a royal family that once ruled the Kingdom of France. 

Kirstine Pommergaard, a curator and archaeologist at the National Museum of Denmark, explained what she found and how the ring’s unique build connects it to the Merovingian elite. 

“The gold ring not only reveals a possible new princely family in Emmerlev, but also connects the area with one of Europe‘s largest centers of power in the Iron Age,” she told Via Ritzau. “The gold ring is probably a woman’s ring and may have belonged to a prince’s daughter who was married to a prince in Emmerlev.” 

Gold is typically [used in] diplomatic gifts, and we know that people have married into alliances, just as it probably happened with Thyra and Gorm the Old and in more recent times when Christian IX became known as ‘Europe’s father-in-law’ for marrying his daughters into other royal houses,” she noted. 

Related: Metal Detectorists Unearth Big Trove of Rare American Gold Coins

Nielsen, for his part, is just thrilled to have possibly uncovered a new piece of European history. 

“I was so excited and overwhelmed that I could hardly say anything,” he said. “It is without a doubt my best find so far. To make such a unique and one-of-a-kind find is completely surreal. I am very proud and honored to be able to contribute a piece to our shared history both locally and nationally.”

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