Boffins in charge of cataloging the Staffordshire Hoard treasure trove made a timely discovery – this heart-shaped piece of gold.
The intricately -carved filigree – which measures just 3 cm (1 in) wide – depicts two eagle-like birds touching their beaks together in a romantic kiss.
There is also a space in between the two figures which fittingly forms a heart.
The piece, which lay undiscovered in a farmer’s field for over 1,300 years, is part of the Staffordshire Hoard – the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever uncovered.
It was unveiled for the first time yesterday – just in time for Valentines Day.
Conservators painstakingly removed a thick layer of mud and debris from the ancient relic to reveal the ornate pattern underneath.
It is one of hundred of Dark Ages artefacts being displayed in the largest-ever Staffordshire Hoard exhibition at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
Museum worker Devina Visram, 25, was one of the first to see the newly-recovered piece.
She said: “It is a wonderful coincidence that this item has been discovered just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“I’ve already fallen in love with it.”
Stoke councillor Mark Meredith added: “Conservators from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, working in our museum labs have been using thorns and sponges to delicately remove earth that had been engrained in this exquisite item, and many more like it, for more than 1,300 years.
“And the detail of the design and craftsmanship in the artefacts they have unveiled is breathtaking.
“We do not yet know what this artefact is, why it was created or what it is a part of.
“That is part of the mystery and enduring appeal of the Staffordshire Hoard, and finding answers to these questions is a journey of discovery that will shed light on the darkest period of our country’s history.”
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