A former U.S. soldier who married a Briton and settled in her homeland turned down a $5.7 million offer for a rare Saxon artifact because he does not want the treasure to leave his "beloved England."

Bernard Yarosz, 71, discovered a nearly 1,200-year-old manuscript pointer belonging to King Alfred the Great under a rock while beachcombing near Weymouth, about 120 miles southwest of London.Last month, the government ruled that Yarosz could keep the pointer. Since then, he has been deluged by offers, including one for $5.7 million from a foreign antiques collector.

Yarosz has offered the piece to the British Museum, which is having it valued before making an offer.

Yarosz and his 66-year-old wife, Peggy, have a combined U.S. and British pensions of $133 a week and live in government-subsidized housing.

"The money does not matter. What would I do with it at this time of my life?" Yarosz said. "I would much rather accept a smaller amount knowing that it would stay in my beloved England."

Alfred, who ruled from 871-899, battled Danish invaders and is credited with forming Britain's first navy.