Well, not my first successful ring return, but my first blog on the subject! This is my second successful recovery for 2016 and I just wanted to share because we’re off to such a good start this year.
I received a message from a gentleman in Gaithersburg (a little north of DC) who required my assistance in locating an 18K gold ring with diamonds. The ring was lost from a third story balcony. His wife was throwing snow up in the air while he photographed her. One photo the ring was there, the next photo, GONE! They sifted and melted over two feet of snow for quite some time before turning to the internet for help.
I was able to make it out a couple days later and the search was on! Directly below the balcony was a concrete slab which was a lower neighbor’s porch area. A mere foot from that was a 10-12 foot row of bushes, no taller than about three feet. Most of the snow had melted from the slab and only about 6 or 7″ remained in the grass on the other side of the bushes. I started right in just on the other side of the bushes, thinking the ring probably landed on shrubs and slowly melted down into the grass just a foot or two away. My machine is a Fisher F75 which is very chatty and sensitive. I was dealing with extensive interference and had to change frequencies a few times to make the detector even partially stable. Additionally, the concrete slab was rebar-reinforced and trash was abundant. This was going to be tough. I spent 25 minutes on a mini grid, then turned my focus to the shrubs with my Garrett AT Pro Pointer. I shook the plants like a madman to make sure the ring was surely out of the limbs, but still scanned the entire hedgerow with my probe just to be sure, top to bottom! I wrote off signal after signal that was either too large, or just below the surface. This ring would either be in the snow, or melted down to the top of the ground. We were still empty handed after quite some time was spent hovering over and reaching under the shrubs. Since my machine was useless on the concrete slab, I picked up the remaining hardened ice and snow and carried it out to an area that I could detect. Then I scraped all the remaining slushy filth off to the side of the slab so I can run my probe through every last drop of disgusting, freezing crap!
Empty. Nothing in the snow I removed from the slab. Nothing in the slush I pushed off the side either. I began hinting at how well my new friend knew his neighbors below, as it seemed the ring may had been picked up from a previously melted area. It’s hard to stay positive after quite some time hunting such a small area. All the interference and large buried objects and trash made it exceptionally tricky.
I picked my detector up for a third and what I figured would be the final time. I dawned my headphones as it continued to just chatter away. I also decreased the sensitivity further and changed the frequency yet again. I started sweeping my detector on the very first line that I had originally made, but came in from the opposing end.
Then it happened. I got ‘that’ signal. I either barely missed it on my first pass, or hadn’t settled down with all the interference and trashy targets yet. It was a repeatable 18-20 readout on my F75 which indicates small, high karat gold. Nice sharp signal, but not quite as loud as I expected. I pinpointed the target, knelt down and plunged my detector probe a few inches into the 6″ packed snow and ice layer. To my instant delight it vibrated and sounded off, and I could tell this object was either in the snow, or right on the top of the ground. I cut an ice plug with my sharp Lesche digging tool and popped out the freezing square like a snow cookie. The signal had disappeared from the hole. JOY! Whatever it was has been moved from the hole! At that point I gave the separated ice brick a little smack, and there it was, a tiny, gorgeous, miraculous little gold ring staring back at me and the gentleman who had remained very positive throughout the hunt as my faith began to dwindle! I snatched it out of the snow the moment that gold glint caught my eye and shoved it into the hands of its rightful owner who had instantly gone from reserved and patient to jumping up in the air and wrapping me up in a huge, ecstatic embrace. An excellent hug it was.
My only regret? Not taking a close-up picture of the ring. But that’s ok because the smiling faces are what it’s all about, and that is precisely why Chris Turner created theringfinders.com in the first place.
So it was a diligent hunt and a successful mission, complete with Indian coffee and toast afterward while I got to know two very lovely people who had moved to the USA only two weeks earlier! Welcome to the USA, and don’t trust the snow!!
Thanks for reading and best wishes to all.