I was contacted this morning by email by a young woman who lost her engagement ring June 3rd 2016 on the beach here in Saint Augustine. She lost it in one of the worst spots to lose a ring, the inlet side of Porpoise point. The reason this is a bad spot to lose rings is because the inlet is narrow and the tide rips in and out moving a lot of sand which in turn moves the ring. It is my belief if something is lost in that area if it’s not found within a day or two it’s likely been dragged well out into deep water in the inlet where detecting is impossible due to strong currents and the channel depths as well as heavy boat traffic.
I immediately called Sara and had her meet me on the beach and she showed me about where she had lost the ring the night before. Luckily the tide was almost high when she lost it so there was a chance the strong currents had not ripped it out of the area yet. I started a grid search with my DFX metal detector with the Bigfoot coil attached as I had a lot of ground to cover. Sara searched the beach by eye, pushing sand around with her foot with the hopes of finding it or perhaps just keeping herself busy looking for sharks teeth while I worked.
After about three hours of searching and many junk finds like aluminum pull tabs I heard another good signal. By now Sara was up talking to a police officer about her loss. Everyone in the area was watching me grid search and was aware of what we were looking for as I had to ask some of them to move for me so I would not miss a spot which they gracefully did after I explained why. Being a Saturday the beach was quite crowded. As I dug up the signal and spread the sand across the beach there it was, her engagement ring. She’d only had it about 6 months and she was devastated at losing it. She was so upset she initially emailed me the wrong phone number.
I scooped up the ring carefully into my hand and walked over to her by the police car and asked her to again describe it to me. She said it was white gold, with about a 3/4 karat diamond in the center and 5 diamonds running down each side. Lifting up the ring I said “Like this one?” I think at this point she fell on her knees in disbelief and excitement. I never grow tired of seeing the face of someone that realizes something they thought might be gone forever is back in their hand. Everyone on the beach was cheering. It was a great moment!
What started out as a shell hunt in shallow water, resulted in a very valuable and sentimental engagement ring slipping off of Sara’s finger and into the ocean only to be found and returned the very next day. Sara found my phone number and email address here on this site by Google searching ‘Help me find my ring” as well as several other searches on how to rent a metal detector. She was going to rent a machine and look herself which is not easy to do for beginners.