A 300-year-old gold ring discovered on the shores of Loch Lomond has sold for over £17,000 at auction.

Dating from the 17th century, the piece of jewellery was discovered by a novice metal detectorist.

It surpassed expectations of a £10,000 sale at Dix Noonan Webb in London on Tuesday, September 10, when the auctioneer’s gavel crashed down to seal the wining bid of £17,360 from a private collector.

The delighted finder, Michelle Vall, started the hobby of metal detecting just over two years ago.

Michelle, of Blackpool, said: “It has been an exciting time from the second I held the ring in the palm of my hand to todays auction.

“The story that has unfolded has been the most amazing experience.”

On a trip to Scotland last November, she struck gold with the discovery of the beautiful ring at Duck Bay on the shores of the loch.

The auction house’s antiquities specialist, Nigel Mills, said: “We were very pleased with a strong result at the auction, the ring selling above top estimate to an American private collector, who was delighted to be the successful bidder.”

Before the sale, experts at the auction house managed to uncover the ring’s history.

The crest belonged to the Colman family of Brent Eleigh, Suffolk, who made their fortune in the mid 16th century from the cloth trade.

It is thought to have belonged to Edward Colman, who became a convert to Catholicism and had a reputation for gaining new converts to the faith.

The inside of the ring bares an engraved “I” for Jesus, a personal symbol that could indicate that the owner was a member of the “Jesuits”, an undercover society of Catholics which was illegal in England at that time.

In September 1678, Jesuits were accused of involvement in plots to assassinate the king. Edward was listed as a plotter.

He was found guilty of treason and was hung, drawn and quartered.

Considered to be a Catholic martyr, he was beatified by the Pope in 1929.

Following the auction, Michelle added: “I am hoping the ring has been purchased by someone who is able to display it and so educate people on the tragic story of Edward Colman and his unfortunate execution.

“It should be appreciated for the historical treasure that it is.”