The posy ring found by Guy Gordon. Picture: Hansons Auctioneers

Don’t miss out!

Get all the most important news and events to your inbox.

A 370-year-old gold ring found by a Lichfield metal detectorist is set to be sold at auction.

Retired Guy Gordon, 56, found the ancient posy ring in May 2018.

It features the inscription ‘Fortunate If Favoured’ – and the former retail site manager said it certainly was a fortunate find.

Guy Gordon with the ring on the day he found it

“As far as we know it’s the only posy ring in existence with that inscription – the British Museum said there was no other ring bearing that message.

“I’ve been metal detecting for 44 years since the age of 13 and always wanted to find a posy ring.

“Most metal detectorists have a bucket list of finds they’d like to unearth and a posy ring was on mine.

“I was excited when I found it. It was buried about seven inches deep in the ground. The signal was low.

“I found it on pastureland in Warwickshire – I’ve discovered a lot of things, from bronze and stone age objects to modern jewellery, but this is the most romantic find I’ve ever made.”

Metal detectorist Guy Gordon

“This is a ring like no other”

The ring will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers in their sale on 26th and 27th March.

Valuer Adam Staples said:

“Guy’s find is a 22ct gold posy ring which would have been used as a wedding ring.

“It probably belonged to a young girl. It’s small but, back then, girls married as young as 13.

“The inscription is interesting. Typical posy ring messages include ‘I love and like my choice’ or ‘In thy breast my heart doth rest’. This is a ring like no other.

“Whoever buys it will own something totally unique.”

Adam Staples, Hansons Auctioneers

Gold posy rings were popular from the 15th to 17th centuries in England and France as lovers’ gifts.

Guy said:

“I’ve decided to sell it now because I’ll never wear it. It’s so small it only fits on to the tip of my middle finger.

“I hope someone else will enjoy it. Perhaps it could be a wedding ring again.”

Metal detectorist Guy Gordon


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *