A three-year-old boy using a metal detector for the first time has unearthed a gold pendant estimated to be worth over £2.5m. James Hyatt made the discovery while out with his father and grandfather in Hockley, Essex. He had only been scanning the soil for a matter of minutes when it started beeping.
The trio, from Billericay, started digging and just eight inches deep, they saw a glint and found what they now know to be a 500-year-old gold pendant. Dad Jason, 34, said: "James got a buzz after just five minutes. We saw a glint eight inches down and gently pulled the object out. Dad was blown away. He'd never found anything like it in 15 years doing his hobby.
"James was so excited to find treasure, though he's too young to realise its significance." Experts believe the rare locket, or reliquary, dates back to the 1500s and was used to hold alleged parts of Christ's crown of thorns or crucifix. James, who is now four, said: "I was holding the detector and it went beep, beep, beep.
"Then we dug into the mud. There was gold there. We didn't have a map - only pirates have treasure maps." An inquest has declared the reliquary treasure trove and it could be bought for millions by an interested institution, including the British Museum. Proceeds will be split with the family and the owner of the field where the pendant was found.