Metal detectorist discovers 'Exquisite' Tudor necklace linked to King Henry VIII
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Charlie Clarke had only been metal detecting for six months when he found buried treasure in 2019.
CHARLIE CLARKE: I just lost a dog, which was a really good companion of mine. A friend of mine asked me if we wanted to go out, do a bit of metal detecting in the field, get a bit of fresh air.
SHAPIRO: After hours of turning up scrap metal in a field in Warwickshire, England, Clarke's metal detector beeped again. So he dug in the rain until he was elbow-deep in the ground and pulled out a large gold necklace with a heart-shaped pendant.
CLARKE: All of a sudden, the weather doesn't matter. You know, it's - your adrenaline is through the roof. You're excited to see - just the color in gold just changes everything.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
The 34-year-old cafe owner knew he had found something special. But it wasn't until he met with someone from the British Museum that he realized just how important it was.
CLARKE: When I first handed it to her, her reaction said it all. Her jaw dropped. You could see it in her eyes. She was shaking holding it.
CHANG: The British Museum announced the discovery of the necklace in late January, and it turns out it's over 500 years old and inscribed with the letters H and K for King Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon.
SHAPIRO: Rachel King is the British Museum's curator of Renaissance Europe, and she says she was in disbelief the first time she saw it in person.
RACHEL KING: Even in my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined something like this. It's so unheard of, something so exquisite.
CHANG: Well, exquisite and large.
KING: It's a big piece of bling, as one would say.
CHANG: The necklace's chain is made up of 75 gold links and weighs more than half a pound. The heart-shaped pendant is about two inches across, and it's decorated with an intertwined red-and-white Tudor rose and a pomegranate symbolizing King Henry VIII's marriage to Katherine.
KING: And they're more than just intertwined. They grow from the same bough. This is a reference to the moment they have their first child.
SHAPIRO: Now, the necklace will be valued. Clarke and the landowner will eventually split the reward. And Clarke - well, he's hooked on the hobby.
CLARKE: As a child, you always want to find treasure. Don't you? And, I mean, you're doing exactly that. You're finding treasure. The fact that it's changed history, it's of national importance - you never know where this hobby can take you.
CHANG: So to any aspiring metal detectorists out there, Charlie Clarke says, get out there. You may not find a historic artifact, but at the very least, you'll get some fresh air.
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