A RARE piece of early medieval jewellery uncovered in a Bridgwater field is now waiting to be valued at the British Museum.

The silver pinhead was discovered in September 2006 by Timothy Phillips, who was running a metal detector over a ploughed field in Chilton Trinity.

It was taken to Somerset County Museum, where experts revealed the two cm object to be a post-Roman silver pinhead, or hand pin, made between 450 and 500AD.

At an inquest held in Taunton last week, Naomi Payne from the museum said the pin would have been worn by a woman of substantial wealth and possibly used to keep a cloak fastened.

Originally, the piece would have been attached to a 12cm pin, much like a hatpin.

According to the museum, there have been no findings of this kind of decorative jewellery since new treasure laws were introduced in 1997, and so the value is currently unknown.

The item has been passed on to the British Museum awaiting a valuation, which should take place in the next few months.

The silver pinhead will be on display when the Somerset County Museum re-opens in 2010.