A metal detectorist has shared his 1,300-year-old “find of a lifetime” and a local museum has tracked down an item for display.

Dave Tomlinson found a rare “incomplete gold mount” dating to the early Middle Ages, meaning the item dates from 570-700 AD.

Driving instructor Dave took up metal detecting as a hobby almost three years ago after being unable to work during quarantine.

Dave Tomlinson with his metal detector. Authors: Dave Tomlinson.

The 53-year-old had been browsing his local site for just ten minutes when he came across the beautifully crafted item.

Dave, from Hocking, Kent, shared photos of the accessory in a Facebook post last Thursday.

The photos show a decorative gold mount on a white background that appears to be embedded with blue glass and gemstones.

Dave wrote in his post: “It’s been over a year but today my hoard find was recorded by the British Museum and posted on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website and described as an incomplete early medieval gold mount (c. 570-700).

“Folkstone Museum is interested in acquiring it, so an investigation will now be carried out and the valuation committee will decide on value.

“I’m so grateful to have been lucky enough to walk it and can’t wait to see it on display.”

Since then, the post has received over 500 likes and 100 comments congratulating Dave on his unique historic find.

One user said: “Amazing find, what we all dream about.”

Another commented: “How awesome is this? I just got my first metal detector, but I’m curious to know how it works when you find things like this.’

A third user wrote: “Incredible detailing skills by the manufacturer and well done for finding this and running it through proper the process.

“I didn’t even know Folkestone had a museum. It will have to be checked.”

The fourth answered: “The quality of the product is simply wonderful. There is a find for a lifetime.”

Dave Tomlinson has found a rare ‘incomplete gold mount’ dating to the early Middle Ages. Authors: Dave Tomlinson.

Speaking today, Dave said: “I planned to find on the opposite side of the field from where I found it mount.

“However, when I got there and started making my way into that area, I noticed a herd of cows in that part the field.

“I’m brave, but not stupid enough to risk being trampled, so I made my way to the opposite end of the field, where ten minutes later I found a jumper.

“At first I didn’t know what it was because it had just cleared and was covered in very sticky mud.

“I forgot my water bottle, so I just put it in the find bag along with the tin can, shrapnel, and the many bullets I always find in this particular permit.

“One day I put the bag of finds in the kitchen sink and started to clean everything, when I started to clean the mud from the mount, I noticed the decoration of garnet and blue glass and of course the characteristic gold color, and then I knew that I had something special in my hand.

“After posting the photo on Facebook, I got a lot of comments about what it could be and realized I would have to report it to my FLO and start the treasure hunt process.

“Yesterday I received an email from my FLO saying that the Folkestone Museum was interested in acquiring the piece.

“Therefore, an investigation will be conducted in the near future and the evaluation commission will decide how much the museum will have to pay for preservation.

“It will be split 50/50 with the landowner.

“Honestly, I’m not too worried about the money because it will give me great pleasure to see such a beautiful piece of history on display for future generations!”

Metal detectorist shares 1,300-year-old “find of a lifetime” as museum eyes up item for display

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