An amateur metal detectorist made the discovery of his life when he found a beautiful Roman pendant in Farndon.
Lee Sansom, from Saltney, found the precious piece of history while on a hunt with his dad.
Found covered in mud, the silver pendant set with a carnelian is certainly a hidden gem.
The pendant will go to the Grosvenor Museum after they said they were interested in displaying it.
He said: “We thought it was just junk when we found it.
“Once we realised it could possibly be Roman, or possibly first century, it got quite exciting. Just finding something of that age.
“To think it had been there for all of those years and the people that must have been on there before.
“It’s definitely the best thing we have found and it’s great it will go to the museum in Chester, only a few miles from where it was found.
“Who knows maybe it was within the walls at some point?”
Lee, a HGV driver, and his father ‘love’ metal detecting and travel the country on the hunt for exciting finds on weekends.
They were out in Farndon with fellow members of the Wrexham Metal Detecting Club on September 6, 2015.
The area of land where the pendant was found has not been revealed so it is not descended on by other treasure hunters.
Set with an ovoid, orange carnelian stone, the silver pendant also features five circular cuts on the back in the shape of a cross.
Lee said: “There was a group of about 20 of us from the club on the day.
“When we found the pendant, which was just half a spade deep, we didn’t know what it was initially.
“We put it into water when we got home and it stayed in the garage for about four or five days.
“It was only once we had cleaned it up I noticed the potential of it.”
Lee’s discovery was recorded with the portable antiquities scheme and also named the Wrexham club’s find of the year.
British Museum curator Richard Hobbs said the pendant depicted ‘a fallen soldier wearing a gladiatorial helmet holding a shield towards a large feline, possibly a panther’.
He added the gem probably dates from the first century, but was set later during the late Roman or early Medieval eras.
Cheshire assistant coroner Dr Janet Napier ruled the find treasure at an inquest at Warrington Town Hall on September 27.
She said: “I would’ve thought this artefact must be pretty rare. I’m very glad you’ve been able to share this with us.
“I hope to see you again with more finds.”