A British woman said her seven years of combing fields and beaches with a metal detector paid off with a 15th-century piece of gold valued at about $400,000.
Mary Hannaby, 57, said she and her son, Michael, 33, were walking in a Hertfordshire field when they discovered the item, believed to be part of a reliquary or pendant, four inches below the ground, a position experts said it has likely been in for about 500 years, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
"You can literally miss things by inches," Michael Hannaby said. "We couldn't believe it. We always dreamed of finding treasure."
Roger Bland, head of treasure at the British Museum, said the item, which depicts the Holy Trinity, is an "important find" but the museum does not have the funds to participate in its auction, scheduled for July 9 at Sotheby's in London.