Café owner ‘shrieked like schoolgirl’ after finding Henry VIII ‘crown jewel’

A metal detectorist has discovered a Tudor gold pendant linked to Henry VIII leading him to shriek “like a little schoolgirl”.

Birmingham cafe owner Charlie Clarke had only been in the detectorist game for six months when he came across the immaculate piece.

He said he had been getting “junk” all day and was shocked by the “once in a lifetime – no, once in 30 lifetimes” find.

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Charlie told the Guardian that he made a noise that sounded, “like a little schoolgirl, to be honest. My voice went pretty high-pitched”.

The discovery in a field in Warwickshire is made of enamel and gold and is believed to be an “early Tudor pendant and chain”.

On it are the symbols and initials of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, his first wife.

It’s the biggest find from the renaissance period that’s been made in the UK for more than 25 years, according to the curator of Renaissance Europe at the British Museum Rachael King.

When she heard the news of the discovery she had to sit down.

With 75 links, the chain hung a large heart-shaped pendant with the Tudor rose on it.

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Weighing in at 300 grams of 24 carat gold it also has Katherine’s symbol, a pomegranate.

On the back of the item are the initials H and K.

The pendant has been proven to be the real deal by scientific research – there had been some initial fears that the piece could not have been genuine.

No personal link to Henry or Katherine has been confirmed at the time of writing.

King said: “Nonetheless, its quality is such that it was certainly either commissioned by or somehow related to a member of the higher nobility or a high-ranking courtier.”

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She continued: “In the British Museum, we’ve got the largest collection of objects from the early Tudor periods in precious metal; none of them are anything like this.”

She added: “We don’t know why it was in Warwickshire and who had it there. At least not yet.”

The item has not yet been valued.


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