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This early medieval gold ring dating to the time of the Crusades – its decoration of a five-fold ‘Jerusalem’ cross suggesting a link with the Knights Templar – sold for £20,000 at Pax Romana Auctions.

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The Catholic military order was founded in the early 12th century to protect pilgrims en route to Holy Land but quickly became a favoured charity throughout Christendom. Non-combatant members of the order managed a large economic infrastructure that has been called the world’s first multinational corporation.

The early history of this ring (and its find spot) has been lost but it came for sale at Pax Romana Auctions (15/20% buyer’s premium) in London on September 29 from a private Kent collection formed in the 1980s. Estimated at £1750-2750, it sold to a bidder using thesaleroom.com at an impressive £20,000.