A MEDIEVAL ring unearthed in Cheshire has been declared treasure trove.

The gold finger ring was found by metal detecting enthusiast John Adamson on December 14 last year, whilst he was searching an area in Whitegate and Marton with permission of the landowner.

Senior Cheshire coroner Alan Moore confirmed the finding at a treasure trove inquest at Warrington Coroners Court on Wednesday.

The exact site of the discovery cannot be revealed.

"If we were to do that anyone with a metal detector might decide to go to the location and start searching," he said.

Heather Beeton, finds liaison officer for Cheshire, contacted experts at the British Museum to prepare a report which was used as evidence.

The posy ring dates from AD 1350 to 1500 and is engraved on the inside in black Gothic script.

The message in French reads 'En bon an' which means 'Have a good year'.

Research shows that rings like this were used as tokens and expressions of love and given to family and friends at New Year.

The ring is decorated with sprigs of foliage and depicts four petal flowers and a beaded border.

Weighing two grams, the medieval jewellery is 5.35 millimetres wide and 0.7 millimetres thick.

The Ashmolean Museum, which specialises in ancient art and archaeology, has similar examples in its collection, the inquest heard.

Rings with New Year greetings have been found in Yorkshire, Hampshire and the Midlands.

Coroner Mr Moore said: "The finding does consist of treasure as it comprises more than 10 per cent precious metal and is over 300 years old."

A silver terminal cap discovered by Mr Adamson on the same day in the same location was also declared treasure trove by the coroner at a separate inquest held on the same day.

This item dating from 1400 to 1600 would have been used to carry a small knife or cane, a report by Ms Beeton confirmed.

The 12.62 millimetre long cap was found complete but damaged and weighs 1.14 grams.