A 17th-century gold ring unearthed on the banks of Loch Lomond by a metal detector is set to fetch £10,000 when it goes under the hammer.

The fascinating gold armorial ring was found by a woman from Blackpool, Lancashire while out combing the loch’s shoreline at Duck Bay near Balloch, West Dunbartonshire.

The ring, believed to date from between 1640 and 1680, once belonged to a Catholic courtier of James II from Suffolk.

The finder, Michelle Vall, started metal detecting two years ago to help combat her panic attacks which stopped her leaving her home.

While on a trip to Loch Lomond last November she struck gold with the discovery of the ring engraved with a family crest.

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Michelle declared the ring as a treasure to the National Museum of Scotland, but she was then told last month that the museum did not want to purchase it.

Surprised but delighted to have the ring returned to her Michelle, a teaching assistant, then contacted Dix Noonan Webb (DNW) auctioneers.

Research by DNW revealed the ring belonged to the Colman family of Brent Eleigh, Suffolk who used the arms on the bezel of the ring from 1598.

Michelle said: “Uncovering the ring was an unforeseen event as myself and husband were detecting on a field with no particular history of finds in the area.

“We were enjoying the peace and relaxation of our wonderful hobby, finding the usual ring pulls, tractor pieces and miscellaneous metal objects.

“So when I unearthed the ring, which was close to the surface, I knew straight away that it was something special.

“It shone with a distinct bright yellow colour as I carefully lifted it out of the dark muddy hole, where it had waited for at least 350 years.

“My calm mind changed to one of excitement as I shouted Tony over, he was surprised to see the ring lying in the palm of my hand.”

This crest can be seen on the ledge slab of the tomb of Samuel Colman, who died in 1653, in the parish church of St Mary and on the Brent Eleigh village signpost.

The Colman family made their fortune in the mid 16th century from the cloth trade, in the Suffolk town of Lavenham.

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They invested their wealth into land, and in 1607 Samuel Colman purchased the manors of Brent Eleigh and Fennhall, and the family rose to rank amongst the Suffolk gentry.

Samuel’s second son Thomas was a devout clergyman in the protestant faith in the village of Brent Eleigh.

However, Thomas’s only son Edward became a convert to Catholicism and had a reputation as an effective preacher of his new faith, gaining a number of converts.

In 1661 Edward established himself at court, being sworn in as a ‘Gentleman Pensioner’, acting as a bodyguard to the King.

During the end of the 1670s, James and Mary had been living in Edinburgh and in 1680 the King made James Commissioner for Scotland.

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The ring is not Michelle's first find since taking up the hobby.

In December 2017, an extremely rare gold coin she had discovered sold for £40,800 at auction.

Nigel Mills, antiquities specialist at DNW, said: “The Colman seal ring is an excellent example of a high status ring of the period, of which there are only a very limited number surviving in this condition.

“Metal detectorists like Michelle have contributed vastly to our knowledge by finding treasures that would have otherwise been unknown to exist.”

The ring will be auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb in London on September 10 where it is expected to fetch £10,000.