Tiny Gold Micro-Bible Found in England

“News broke early this month of a once-in-a-lifetime dream discovery for a metal detectorist in northern England: a centuries-old miniature Bible pendant, made of pure gold, and believed by researchers to have belonged to a relative of King Richard III. The artifact is currently being assessed by the Yorkshire Museum. It has been noted for its similarity in artistic style to the Middleham Jewel, an item associated with King Richard III of England (1452–1485), and the similar engraving style has led to speculation it was created by the same artist. Further, the gold Bible was found on land near property owned by the king. Julian Evan-Hart, editor of Treasure Hunting magazine and an expert in rare treasure items, stated: ‘Sumptuary law [of the 13th to 15th centuries] made it illegal for anyone other than the nobility to carry gold. Automatically, then, it would have been the possession of someone highly notable such as a member of royalty.’ The figures depicted on the ‘pages’ are not actually personalities of either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament; instead, they depict St. Leonard and St. Margaret, patron saints of childbirth. Ergo, the researchers believe that the pendant belonged to a pregnant relative of the king, perhaps specifically the king’s wife Anne Neville; her mother, Cecily Neville; or sister-in-law Anne Beauchamp. ‘Whoever had it commissioned must have been incredibly wealthy,’ said Mrs. Bailey [the discoverer]. The item weighs 5 grams, and is either 22 carat or 24 carat gold. The possession of pregnancy charms at this time can be viewed in the context of a devoutly Catholic England, with a high percentage of women dying in pregnancy or from complications thereafter.”

“600-Year-Old Gold ‘Micro-Bible,’” Watch Jerusalem, Nov. 13, 2021