A 500 year old golden ring which was potentially made in the Middle East and found in a North Yorkshire field by a metal detectorist has been bought by a museum to go on show to the nation,

York Museums Trust raised up to £20,000 for the rare ring, thought to have once been owned by a prominent member of society. It was discovered by detectorist Paul Ibbitson from Lancashire in a field at Fulford, near York in December 2016 when he said it was the find of a lifetime.

Now it has gone on show at the Yorkshire Museum in York. The gold band engraved with flowers and set with ruby and emerald gemstones is believed to be a 15th century love token.

Adam Parker, assistant curator for the trust, said the combination of the gemstones is "unusual". He added: "It's a rare item. Rings with rubies, sapphires or glass have been found before, but this dual bezel with both ruby and emerald is more unique.

"In medieval times it would have been seen as an exotic item, one likely to originate in the Middle East or potentially North Africa."

He said historic books talk about the "magical and medicinal associations" of the two stones, with emeralds linked to chastity, and rubies love.

"The idea of these two stones being brought together on a ring makes it ideal as a love token, or a betrothal charm probably given from a man to a woman" he added. It possibly belonged to landed gentry or someone in royal circles, but there was no doubt it had been buried for 500 years before being discovered.

He added: "It could have been placed in the ground, thrown, dropped, or it could even have been stolen and buried." It's currently a permanent feature of the Medieval York: Capital of the North exhibition.