Shaped like a heart - and with two hands clasped together in decorative sleeves at its base - this piece of jewellery may be tiny but it was to prove an enormous find for one lucky metal detector enthusiast.
Stan Cooper, 60, unearthed the 2.5cm gold brooch beneath the soil in a farmer's field near Sandbach, Cheshire - and was initially unaware of its true provenance.
But the item - no bigger than a pound coin - has now been dated to between 1350 and 1450 and is thought to have originally been a betrothal gift because the hands appear to be male and female.
Furthermore, it is worth an astonishing £25,000.
A metal detector enthusiast who found a 2.5cm gold brooch in a farmer's field is celebrating after it was identified as a medieval piece of jewellery worth £25,000
Stan Cooper, 60, discovered the treasure near Sandbach, Cheshire
Experts said it is rare to have a brooch containing the heart and clasped hands together on one piece.
Bill Forrest from Adam Partridge auctioneers in Macclesfield, Cheshire, which is selling the brooch, said: 'It is an annular-style brooch that combines two symbols; a heart and hands clasped.
'It is rare to find these two symbols together on one brooch and it really is such a fine thing that a jeweller today would struggle to make it.
'The hands are slightly different, meaning they might be a man and a womanís hand - and they are in sleeves, which are decorated.
'It was probably a betrothal gift from a gentleman to his other half and would originally have belonged to someone of very high standing.
The brooch has been dated to between 1350 and 1450 and is in the shape of a heart with two clasped hands. The size of a pound coin, it is thought it was originally a betrothal gift because the hands appear to be male and female.
'It will be of interest to brooch collectors and those who collect medieval jewellery.'
Mr Cooper made the discovery last June and described it as a 'find of a lifetime'.
He was not sure what it was at first because it was covered in dirt, but after it was cleaned, he realised it was gold.
Mr Cooper, who is a works manager for a manufacturing company, has been detecting for over 20 years and will share any proceeds with the farmer
Incredibly, the jewellery appears to be in perfect condition despite having lain underground for hundreds of years.
The brooch was reported to the authorities and then sent to the British Museum for experts to examine.
And because the Crown disclaimed it, there was no need for a treasure trove inquest and it is free to be sold.
Mr Cooper, who is a works manager for a manufacturing company, has been detecting for over 20 years and will share any proceeds with the farmer.
The grandfather, who lives near to the site of his find, said: 'I got permission to dig on the farm in May last year.
'In other fields, I found copper coinage and musket balls, then I selected a field that had a stream running through it.
'I was about eight feet from the stream when I got a good signal and I decided to dig it.
'The brooch was only about four or five inches down and it was covered in dirt, but I could see that it was a precious metal.
'There was so much dirt that the pin wouldnít swing so I put it in a polythene bag and took it to a friendís house where we put it in an ultrasonic cleaner.
'When it came out after about ten minutes I could tell it was quality gold because it gleaned as if it had been polished.
'It had detail on both sides and the workmanship made me think it was earlier than Victorian.
'It really was the find of a lifetime. You have two weeks after making a find before you have to declare it so I did a bit of research.
'It is unusual to have the clasped hands and heart together in one piece - the clasped hands are something you find from Roman times.'
Mr Forrest added: 'It is really exciting.
'It was found on June 11 last year by a metal detectorist in the Sandbach area.
'We canít give out any more details of the location for obvious reasons.
'It was brought in to us by the finder for an insurance valuation and after some research came up with a valuation.
'It was then sent to the British Museum so it could be examined, authenticated and documented.
'It was disclaimed by the Crown so there was no need for an inquest and it can now be sold.'
Amateur treasure hunter finds tiny 14th century gold brooch worth £25,000 in farmer's field | Mail Online