Published Monday, 09 September 2013
David Taylor pictured with the rare Viking silver ring. (© PA)
David Taylor, from Co Down, took the piece to his local museum to enquire about its origins after he found it 18 months ago.
He found the metal object in his brother-in-law's field at Inishargy Road, Kircubbin after he was helping remove stones from the freshly ploughed field.
"The night I went to help Andy lift the stones, he says 'nobody ever helps me lift stones'," he said.
Mr Taylor said on Monday he was glad he had not listened to his wife Lynda after the ring was declared as treasure.
"She thought it was a bull ring and said 'throw that in the bin'," he laughed after the ruling at a special treasure trove inquest hearing at Belfast coroner's court.
"I just knew by the shape of it, it was something."
The 45g silver bracelet-shaped artefact, which has been dated back to between 950 - 1100 AD, will now go for valuation by experts at the UK Treasure Valuation Committee.
Thought to have originated in Shetland or the Orkney isles - which were then ruled by Viking leaders including the sinisterly named Thorfinn the Skull Splitter - such finds are rare in Ireland.
The pieces of precious metal were thought to be used as a form of currency before coins were widely used.
John Sheehan, archaeologist from University College Cork, told coroner Suzanne Anderson that the field where the ring was found lay close to the remains of a medieval church.
He explained that religious sites were often used as a storage place
for valuable items, and that it may have been deposited at the church for safe-keeping.
Mr Sheehan suggested it was likely to have been taken out of Scandinavian hands during a clash between Viking settlers and Irish natives.
© UTV News