This recovery started with an email from a friend of the ring owner, but quickly progressed to a call from Shannan, the ring owner herself. Shannan had been cooling off at a local river swimming spot and decided to move through some fast-flowing water. As she did so, the current pulled her diamond and white gold engagement ring off her finger. Shannan was distraught. She and her fiancé bought a waterproof flashlight and attempted to set off reflections from the diamonds, but the choppy water made it impossible. Then Shannan’s friend hopped online, found my Ring Finders page and now here I was, trudging down a dirt road that led to the river.
After giving me the background of what happened and pointing out the relevant places, I was encouraged by the fact that Shannan knew exactly when the ring came off her hand. This really helped narrow the search area down to a few square yards. But once I put on my wet gear and walked into the river, my confidence ebbed significantly: The spot where the ring was lost had a current so strong it was a challenge to stand in it, let alone swing a detector!
I found a place to stand, bracing my feet diagonally and facing into the current. This was working, but it became clear that I was going to have to change coils. The big coil on the AT Pro was hydroplaning in the current and even with both hands I couldn’t keep a controlled movement going. I waded back out and switched to the smaller coil. With less surface area to buffet, the rushing water had far less effect on this coil, and I was able to start a grid. It was still tough: The water was nearly 3 feet deep and so rough from the speed of the current, I couldn’t see the coil, let alone the river bed. This was going to have to be 100% auditory.
Before long I had a good repeatable signal that was right in the middle of the AT’s gold range. I pinpointed as best I could through the chaos of the water and put my foot beside the coil. Taking my scoop, I blindly dug alongside my foot. Dragging the scoop out of the water, a quick re-scan over the spot was silent. Either I had knocked the target back into the current and it had tumbled downriver, or it was in the scoop. I started to pick rocks out of the scoop and soon saw a blaze of fiery color – there was Shannan’s engagement ring, the diamonds shining brightly in the afternoon sun!
On a late December morning, I arrived at the suburban home of Jayme, who had called me the day before. As I pulled up beside the driveway, I thought about the story she had related on the phone. Jayme had been playing with her dog in her snowy front yard over the weekend. Her fingers were narrowed by the chilly winter air and her brand new engagement ring flew off into the snow. The newly-engaged couple searched for the ring for hours, finally giving up when the sun went down.
The next morning, determined to find the ring, they bought a cheap metal detector and set about scanning their front yard. But to no avail. By the afternoon they were convinced the ring was lost forever. As a last resort, Jayme sat down at her computer to see if she could find a service that could help. Her search ended at theringfinders.com and here I was, meeting her and her fiancé on their doorstep, detector in hand.
After getting Jayme to tell me where she was standing and the general direction of the ball throw that precipitated the plunge of the ring, I got to work on a grid of the yard. Within the first two minutes I had found a quarter and a dime, but no ring. It was a frigid day, so I had to force myself not to rush the search. Luckily it only took another ten minutes before I had a very clear signal in my headphones and a brief poke around in the snowy grass revealed my quarry!
Jayme was so relieved and thrilled to have her engagement ring back, and I was happy to see her smile, say my goodbyes and get back to the warmth of my car!
Sean contacted me last week. He wanted to know if I could help him find his gold wedding band that he lost whilst gardening at his home. We set up for a preliminary search this morning.
I arrived at 8 a.m. with the sky threatening typical May storms. It rained hard last night, but for the moment it was partly cloudy and the radar looked clear. I figured I could probably get at least a couple of hours hunting without getting soaked. I asked Sean to tell me more about his ring and where he lost it. We went around back to a small garden where he had onions, radishes and other vegetables growing. He said that he’d lost the ring in November 2013 and gave me some pointers where to look. The garden had been tilled to an estimated 10″ depth, so I decided to start with the AT Pro’s stock coil for its greater depth over the 5 x 8. I went back to my car and put on my coveralls, kneepads and gloves, then unloaded the AT Pro, which already had the 8.5 x 11 DD attached. After ground balancing, I set out where Sean thought the ring was lost, and quickly realized that this garden wasn’t going to be an easy patch to hunt. My first two holes yielded balls of foil that sounded a lot like gold!
After thoroughly covering the two areas that Sean had outlined for me, I was still empty-handed. Now the sun had broken through the clouds and it was warming up. I decided to widen my search area, thinking that a year and a half of gardening could have easily moved the ring from where Sean thought it was. A few minutes later I got a pretty nice mid tone in the middle of one of the walkways between the vegetable patches. I checked the VDI display and saw a 48 that jumped slightly to 46 and up to 49, then back. I turned my coil 90 degrees and swung again. 49, 50, 49, 48, 51, 49.
I swept aside the mulch chips and used my digger to cut a flap in the landscape fabric of the path. Lifted out a nice neat plug, and as I was automatically reaching for my holstered Propointer, I saw it:
Sean was pretty happy too:
Helping reunite Sean with his lost wedding ring made my day. This is what detecting is all about!