Lisa Grace used her Deus and 13″ coil to find this beautiful late 15th century hat jewel, dating to the Wars of the Roses (1455 – 1485).
Lisa commented ‘I had been detecting in lines, very slowly, and was on my sixth line, although I had yet to find anything of note. I started on my way again, nothing… nothing… for some reason I swung the coil out just a little further than normal and caught a ‘ping’ on the end of it. Not just any ping, but a really sweet sound! I removed a small spadeful of earth and as I crouched down I saw a golden edge in a curving shape. Then, a piece of the clod broke away and I saw the most amazing purple jewel in the centre and a golden chain hanging from a twisted gold border.’
The Jewel is gold, set with a faceted amethyst and its design features the ‘Sun in Splendour’ motif, which King Edward IV adopted as his personal badge after his victory at the Battle of Mortimers Cross in 1461.
As dawn broke on the day of the battle, three suns appeared in the morning sky. This was due to a rare meteorological phenomenon, called a Parhelion, caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere. The Yorkist troops, led by Edward, then Earl of March, were at first frightened by this but Edward soon turned it to his own advantage. He told his men this was a sign from God, representing the Holy Trinity, and was proof that God would lead them to victory. The Yorkists were victorious that day and Edward was proclaimed King a month later, after which he adopted the ‘Sunne in Splendour’ as his personal emblem. The badge would have originally had three pearls (for the holy trinity) hanging from the droppers but these have not survived.
The rare jewel found with the XP Deus is currently at the British Museum, making its way through the treasure process and has been featured in ‘Lincolnshire Life’ magazine (‘Lincolnshire’s Lost Jewel’) and the PAS book ’50 Finds from Lincolnshire’.