The Prince of Wales has been inspecting treasures from the Staffordshire Hoared at a museum in the Midlands.
Charles was allowed to examine three items from the country's largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold, including a crumpled cross and a sword handle, at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, in Stoke-on-Trent.
Around 100 pieces of the 7th-century treasure have been put on show.
Accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince chatted with the farmer on whose land the artefacts were found near Lichfield last summer.
Museum officials said Charles and the Duchess seemed fascinated by the craftsmanship of the processional cross.
Collections officer Deb Klemperer accompanied the couple during their visit which was to mark the centenary of the federation of Stoke-on-Trent's six towns.
Speaking after the hour-long visit, Ms Klemperer said: "The Prince was really interested, as was the Duchess of Cornwall.
"It was the first time a royal had handled what was a royal collection in 1,300 years, and he kept asking questions about the workmanship, which you might expect as he is an archaeology graduate."
Fred Johnson, 65, owns the field near Hammerwich where the artefacts were found. He said he felt privileged rather than proud that they were unearthed on his land.
"You can be proud of something you have done yourself. This was just an incredible stroke of luck," he said.