EXPERTS say a 2,000-year-old gold torque unearthed by two Castleford supermarket workers is a “very rare” find.
The Iron Age torque – found by Asda warehouse workers Andy Green and Shaun Scott earlier this year – could be part of the lost treasure of first century British queen Cartimandua.
Jody Joy, a British Museum Iron Age expert, said the gold bracelet could shed light on Iron Age studies.
He added: “It is a very rare piece to find at all, and especially in the north of England. These sorts of artefacts have only ever been found in Norfolk and East Anglia.
“The location of this find has given us more detail into the level of sophistication that was developing in manufacturing and gift rituals over the first and second centuries BC.
“There have been around 300 torques found in Britain, but to find a bracelet torque is really rare, there have only been about 30 or 40 found in the UK.
“The last one we found, which was as big as this, was in 2005 so that gives you an idea of how rare a find like this is.
“With the growing popularity of metal detecting we do have a lot more people coming in with artefacts that can provide us with new information about this period.”
Mr Green and Mr Scott have spent three years uncovering a hoard of rare artefacts on private land in North Yorkshire. They have found three gold torques (worn around the arm or neck), two Celtic gold staters (coins), a gold pin and a Viking ring which are now kept in the British and Yorkshire museums.
Mr Green said: “I am really excited about the rarity of this torque, but it has never been about the money for me.
“I hope that the Yorkshire Museum is able to raise the funds to buy the torque because the people to this area should be the ones to learn from it and enjoy it.”
The torque will be subject to a treasure trove inquest, then it will be considered by a British Museum evaluation committee which will set a price for the artefact.