Yorkshire Museums Trust is launching one last push to raise the cash to acquire the first Iron Age gold torc to be found in the county.
© Yorkshire Museums Trust
The 2,000-year-old solid gold torc, or bracelet, was discovered near Tadcaster in 2010 by metal detectorists Andrew Green and Shaun Scott. A second bracelet of a similar age was found close by a year later.
An appeal was launched in November 2011 by the Yorkshire Museum in York to raise £60,000 to keep both of them in the county, but now time is running out and the museum needs to raise £24,000 by the end of January 2012 to make sure the first torc is saved.
An inquest into the value of the second torc is yet to be held, giving the museum more time to raise funds, but they are now asking for 5,000 people to each donate £5 to secure the first of the valuable Iron Age artefacts.
"If we fail to raise the money it may sold anywhere in the world, to the highest bidder," said Natalie McCaul, assistant curator of archaeology for the Yorkshire Museum.
"It would mean the public may never see it again and we would lose the chance to hand it over the experts to see if they can reveal some of its secrets."
The torc has already been dated to 100BC-70BC, but many more secrets remain.
Torc finds of this type in Yorkshire are unique, with most previous examples unearthed in the East of England, which was the Iron Age home of the Iceni tribe who were known to deal in gold goods of this type. The furthest north torcs of a similar type have been found is Newark.
"This gold torc is the first Iron Age gold jewellery to be found in the north of England. To look at, it is stunning, but it is also incredibly valuable as part of Yorkshire's history." added McCaul.
It is thought it would have belonged to an extremely wealthy member of the Brigantes tribe who ruled most of North Yorkshire during the Iron Age.
Both torcs are on show at The Yorkshire Museum until January 31 2012.
You can donate towards the appeal in person at the museum or by visiting the online donations page.
© Kippa Matthews