Toni’s 14 Karat White Gold, 1 Carat Diamond Family Heirloom with Surrounding Diamonds Engagement Ring
CALL BRIAN RUDOLPH WITH THE RING FINDERS AT (301) 466-8644 AND HE WILL RETURN TO YOU WHAT HAS BEEN LOST!
It was a busy day on the farm for Toni and her fiancé Clay. They were working on all kinds of tasks at the homestead before having to head out to do some errands in their town near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Because Toni didn’t want to damage or even possibly lose her precious white gold, 1 carat diamond engagement ring, she gave it to her soon-to-be husband for safekeeping. Clay took the band and carefully placed it in his shirt pocket. Then, the couple partnered together to carry a few chicken coops and load them into the back of Clay’s pickup truck so that they could drop them off somewhere later that afternoon. Next, while Toni was inside doing some house work, Clay hopped on his riding lawnmower and cut the grass in the front yard and on the sides of the house.
After a few other loose ends were taken care of on the property, the engaged couple jumped into their pickup truck and headed down their long driveway towards town. As they were nearing the edge of the property to turn onto the main road, a United States Postal Service truck was coming towards them and ended up striking Clay and Toni’s vehicle. Immediately, they pulled over to the side of their farmland driveway and exchanged information with the postal driver. Then, both vehicles drove towards the farmhouse where Clay and Toni gathered some additional information for the USPS delivery man and for their insurance companies. It was around that point in time when Clay realized that the engagement ring that Toni had given him to hold was missing from his shirt pocket. Immediately a search ensued for the rest of that afternoon. Unfortunately, they could not find the ring anywhere on the property. They even checked the pickup truck just in case the ring flew out of his pocket when the collision occurred with the postal service truck. Still, nothing turned up. Eventually they left the farm to drop off the chicken coops and then returned back home to continue their search. The couple spent all of their time looking on their hands and knees across their entire lawn, searching every inch of the driveway and inside Clay’s pickup truck. They also searched everywhere in the house just in case the engagement ring came out of Clay’s pocket when he might have leaned forward to pick something up or possibly when he tied his shoes. Neither one of them had any luck finding Toni’s beloved family heirloom engagement ring in and around the farmhouse. The two of them were completely dumbfounded by the disappearance of this ring. The original purpose for giving it to Clay was for safekeeping and neither one of them thought that the ring that they were trying to secure would actually go missing! The only other place that the ring could have ended up beyond their property was the location where the couple dropped off the chicken coops later that afternoon. Clay hoped that the ring did not fall out of his truck when he opened the door to climb out. He reached out to the people who owned the property where the coops were delivered, but they didn’t find the ring upon checking their driveway. The whole ordeal was quite perplexing.
Hours of searching turned into a couple of days of the same unsuccessful attempts to find the missing gem. Still no engagement ring to be found anywhere. Clay resorted to using a metal detector to help in their search efforts, but nothing turned up except coins, soda can pull-tabs, pieces of scrap metal and miscellaneous trash. That’s about the time that Clay’s beloved fiancé, Toni, reached out to me after learning about The Ring Finders directory online. She read some of my success stories on the directory’s website, as well as viewed a few of my search videos. Ironically, Toni watched me recover a ring for a young lady who she went to high school with a couple of years back. What a small world! They both currently live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I had found her friend’s ring out in the Atlantic Ocean just two weeks before she was getting married in Gettysburg, very close to where Toni and Clay resided!
Once Toni was convinced that I could provide the best service in helping the couple find their sentimental keepsake, she immediately called me and we talked on the phone for a while, reviewing all of the backstory of the ring’s disappearance. She said that if her fiancé had no luck in finding her engagement ring by the end of the day, she would call me back and we would set up a time for me to come out and try to find it for them. As it turned out, I did receive another call back from her. The next evening I was on my way to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to search for her beloved diamond engagement ring!
As I drove to Gettysburg, I had plenty of warm feelings within as I reflected on my recent trips to the same area. I attended the wedding of Toni’s two classmates, Hannah and Derek Bush in the middle of August. Hannah is the one that I found her engagement ring for, 40 yards out in the Atlantic Ocean during her bachelorette party weekend in Ocean City, Maryland. After finding it for the relieved bride, the couple was kind enough to invite me to their wedding! I then returned a couple of weeks later to Gettysburg to be a part of a local television news story on channel ABC27 regarding the ring search and successful recovery. Now, I was driving back to the area for a third time, just a week after that television interview! Those were happy moments and with this new search, I was hoping to add to my successes by finding this couple’s ring for them, as well!
After traveling down old country roads and through a lot of farm country, I finally arrived at Clay and Toni’s farm. As I pulled into their long driveway, I saw the silo in the distance, along with barns and animal pens. There was a large cornfield on one end of their large property and the couple’s farmhouse was off to the other side. It was a lot of fun hearing the sounds of the cows and some other animals that were outside and tucked away in the barn for the night. What I really enjoyed was seeing all of the cats that lived on the farm! They were walking here and there, sitting and sleeping on this and on that! Every so often I heard a few sweet “meow” sounds off in the distance! Also, with my headlamp powered on, I would constantly see pairs of glowing eyes under the vehicles, by the trees, bushes, as well as a few felines peeping out of some crevices next to the farmhouse! They were adorable kitties and they kept me coming throughout the night!
Once I parked, I met the couple who were desperate to get Toni’s ring back. They showed me all of the spots where Clay had been working in the yard and the truck that he was driving on the day that Toni’s prized possession disappeared. I encouraged the couple to keep searching inside the house, pulling up couch cushions and looking under furniture just in case the ring popped out of Clay’s shirt pocket in the house on the day that it went missing. They had already spent a lot of time searching their place, but I still encouraged them to keep an open mind about continually looking around the inside of their house. Once we covered all of the possible places where the ring could have disappeared, the couple returned to the home while I went back to my car and pulled out all of my metal detecting gear to start the search.
The time was around 9:30 p.m. by the time I was ready to start detecting. With my headlamp on and my metal detector in hand, I began roaming the area of the yard where Clay and Toni were picking up the chicken coops and bringing them over to the truck. I wanted to see if the ring had fallen out of his pocket when he leaned forward to pick up the coops. Though I found some potential targets, there was no ring in that location. Next, I metal detected the backyard and side yard where Clay was mowing the lawn. I checked around the seat and the floor of the mower but there was no ring in sight. As I moved around the property, I could hear the cows and roosters in the background! It was a lot of fun knowing that I was searching for something missing right there on a genuine farm with animals and crops! Next, I began metal detecting in front of the house, conducting a grid search back and forth across the lawn. Still, I couldn’t find Toni’s ring. I was then hoping that I might discover the diamond heirloom in the pickup truck or in Clay’s work vehicle which he gave me permission to search, but they too checked out negative for the precious piece of jewelry that I was looking for.
The couple mentioned to me that after the accident took place with the USPS truck, the mail carrier once again caused a second collision. This time it happened closer to the farmhouse, next to the barn. He was reversing his truck to leave the property when he ended up smashing the rear end of his vehicle into one of the fence posts which caused it to lean off to one side. Clay had to walk over and inspect the damage. That is when the two interacted for a while before the carrier finally left the premises. I thought that it was a possibility that perhaps the ring fell to the ground during that second ordeal. I immediately detected that area, but there was no white gold ring signals showing up on my detector screen.
The warm night hours were getting later and later until it was nearing midnight. Eventually my headlamp grew dim and it was time to switch to another one to resume the search. Without using this helpful tool, I would never be able to effectively conduct the many night searches that I schedule.
I continued my detecting in areas located near the spots where the couple had generally parked their vehicles. I wanted to make sure that the ring did not bounce from the blacktop over to the grassy areas. After checking all of the surfaces on the concrete right up to the edges of the adjacent lawn sections, once again I came up empty handed. There was still no ring to be found. At that point I started scratching my head, wondering where this little one could have ended up. It was quite possible that it was lost in the house but it was too late at night to offer my services to check inside their furniture using tools like my endoscope. Also, they were pretty certain that the engagement ring was not lost in the house because they could not find it anywhere after checking their place quite thoroughly.
My only conclusion for not finding the missing family heirloom at that stage of the game, was that I must have overlooked the beloved piece of white gold and missed the signal during my earlier grid searches on the property. That was my only conclusion as to why I had not found the ring thus far. Sometimes the reason that I don’t easily find someone’s ring at first has more to do with alternative locations that the person was not thinking about when they try to recall all of the facts of where they were and what they were doing before and after the ring had disappeared. In this particular case, it should have been a no-brainer as to isolating the probable locations of where the ring fell out of Clay’s pocket. The reason that I could come to that conclusion was because Clay realized the ring was gone before they left their property for the afternoon, just after the postal service truck struck their vehicle. The ring had to be on the property or in their house.
I resolved to go back and start grid searching the places that I had already covered, beginning in one section of the yard and then moving to the next. I would slow my swings down a bit and work more carefully to observe even the lightest of signals that would register on my Equinox 800 detector. Because I was dealing with white gold, if the ring was on a particular angle in the grass, it was quite possible that the detector could have initially hit the ring signal, but perhaps I may have missed the sketchiness of the signal that the detector was showing on the screen and perhaps I continued walking passed the gold.
My first attempt to re-grid the lawn took place over by the edge of the cornfield that was adjacent to the far side of the front lawn. It turned out to be completely clear. Then, instead of detecting the backyard all over again, I decided to search the front lawn because it was a smaller section to cover. My thought was that if I did find the ring in front of the house, I would not have wasted all of my time re-gridding the larger places in the yard that had more square footage to detect. Since it was nearing 1 a.m., I resolved to make that my last attempt for the night. I had a long trip ahead of me and I knew that I needed to wrap things up soon enough.
I carefully grid-searched the front lawn, moving the coil of my detector consistently from left to right and moving it much slower this time around so that there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I hadn’t missed the ring signal. That night, I was picking up all kinds of coins, bullet shells, aluminum pieces, little parts and gizmos that were registering similar numbers to what a gold ring would look like on my detector screen. Yet, I still was not able to find Toni’s jewel. Almost at the end of the lawn search, I had about two more passes to go before I could rule out any possibility that the ring was lost on the front lawn located in front of the farmhouse porch. When one is detecting for this many hours, your mind starts working against you and you sometimes get tempted to believe that in the final seconds of your search you’re most likely not going to find the target based on the odds. However, I have learned to never discount even an inch of property because you might find what you’re looking for in that final backstretch of your search.
And believe it or not, just as I was starting the second to last grid line, I hit a signal that was very weak, but one that resembled a possible white gold target. I moved the detector coil in a different angle over the target and to my surprise the piece of metal was still giving off possible gold numbers! At that point, I was not going to advance passed the target, but I decided to spend more time checking out this potential piece of precious metal. Next, I knelt down on the grass which was located almost directly in front of the house, adjacent to the sidewalk that led to the front steps. I pulled out my pinpointer to isolate the area of where the small object was being detected and I focused in on the very spot where the handheld detector was telling me where the object was located. All of a sudden, I saw what appeared to be the band of a ring that was leaning on its side in between blades of grass!
I looked a bit closer and there it was! The very piece of jewelry that I had been looking for during the past 5 hours was finally discovered right there in front of the house! I found the ring! Yes, there it was, buried in the grass! I had obviously detected right passed the ring earlier that evening. I concluded that with the combination of the ring being white gold, resting on a certain angle in the grass, and moving the coil too quickly over the ring, caused me to miss the target all together!
Though I was regretful that I had wasted quite a bit of time because of overlooking the weak signal that the ring was giving off, I was just happy that I had successfully completed my search and that I was able to soon return this gorgeous white gold and diamond engagement ring back to its proper owner! This find would also prove to be helpful in freeing Clay from “being in the doghouse” for losing what his fiancé had entrusted him with when she gave him the ring for safekeeping!
If you would like to view the search video and the moment that I revealed the ring to Toni late that night, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel and you will be notified when the video is uploaded in the next few months.
I could not have been happier for the couple that evening! I was exhausted and almost ready to pack up my gear as I was nearing the end of my search when the beloved ring was discovered! I was nearly out of search area at that closing moment of the night! And yet, the ring was there – found almost on my last grid pass! What a fantastic finish! I got all excited about soon presenting the ring back to Toni that night! After packing up my things and taking some pictures of the ring, I prepared to share the happy news with the bride-to-be! She was beyond surprised! What an incredible moment! The look on her face was worth all of the hours of searching and persevering in order to bring this very special family heirloom back to the finger that it was meant to be secured upon!
What a wonderful feeling I had saying goodbye to Toni that night! I told her to congratulate Clay for me when he would arise from his sleep later that morning! It was like living a dream knowing that I had found what was so very difficult to detect! As I walked to my car in order to prepare for departure, I heard some of the farm animals in the background, including a couple of friendly cats that had kept me company during my search. It was almost as if they were congratulating me on a job well done and wishing me well as I started down the driveway to the main road and then headed off on my long journey towards home!
“Thank you again Brian for everything! I can’t thank you enough for finding the ring for us. My heart is just pounding with enjoyment. Thank you again!!!! Clay and I are very grateful to have found a guy like you to come out in the night looking for my engagement ring. Brian you have a positive outlook especially bringing some positivity and commitment on finding my ring. I would highly recommend you to anyone who would be in need of the services that you do. Thank you for everything!”
– Toni and Clay of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
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CALL BRIAN RUDOLPH WITH THE RING FINDERS AT (301) 466-8644 AND HE WILL RETURN TO YOU WHAT HAS BEEN LOST!
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