BRIAN RUDOLPH, LOST ITEM RECOVERY SPECIALIST (LAND, WATER, SAND, SNOW, LEAVES, HOUSES & VEHICLES) WILL FIND YOUR LOST KEEPSAKE! CALL ASAP (301) 466-8644!
Christy’s platinum diamond London blue sapphire engagement ring had been missing for 4 days when I got the call from her husband Miles asking for help. I wasn’t too far away from the couple’s Kensington, Maryland home as I had just wrapped up another search nearby in Chevy Chase.
When I arrived at the property, the three of us quickly jumped into the story of what led up to the disappearance of Christy’s very special ring. I was so happy that the couple found me on the amazing international metal detectorist directory called THE RING FINDERS!
The couple was pretty certain that the keepsake was lost somewhere in the backyard. Christy and Miles were doing yard work in the rear of their house the day that the precious gem disappeared. Christy was about to use a watering can but she didn’t want to bend the ring while holding the sprinkling pot’s handle. So, she gave her engagement band to her husband by putting it on his pinky finger while she did her planned tasks.
Christy said that she would be done in approximately 10 minutes and then she would reclaim her jewelry. The last time Miles remembered having the ring on his finger was on the couple’s patio when he was first entrusted with his wife’s ring. After 20 minutes, Christy asked for her sentimental keepsake and that’s when Miles realized that the ring was missing off of his finger.
The couple spent 10 hours searching for the piece of platinum over the next 4 days, utilizing a metal detector that they purchased online. The two even tested another ring that was white gold (not platinum), just to make sure that the metal detector was picking up precious metal, and yet the detector couldn’t even register that target signal!
Christy and Miles were on their hands and knees searching all of the places where Miles may have traveled around in the backyard with the ring. They scanned the patio where Miles fixed a piece of stone. They looked in the two garden beds where he watered plants. They searched the shed and behind the structure where Miles went to get a shovel and acquire some dirt from a nearby pile. The couple was pretty certain that Miles never walked on their backyard lawn so they didn’t metal detect the grassy areas adjacent to where the young man walked.
There were even more areas that Christy and Miles searched. They looked in the recycling bag where Miles had thrown away some branches and miscellaneous tree clippings after he had been pruning the trees over their wooden fence in two different areas. One place that he was reaching over the fence was closer to the patio and the other spot was mid way to the back of the property – still working on that same wooden fence line. It was at that second place along the top of the fence where Miles was trimming some more that he noticed that his beloved wife’s ring was no longer on his finger.
In addition to all of that information that I had acquired, I learned that no garbage or additional recycled items were ever taken to the curb and Miles never went into the house during the time that he was entrusted with Christy’s ring. No gloves were used outside and no contractors or landscapers were ever near the house during this mysterious time frame in question. The only other person that was even close to the couple’s backyard was their neighbor, who kindly helped in the search by looking around his chain linked fence on his side of the property line. Still, even with the added efforts, nothing turned up. The two were simply exhausted and perplexed by the whole situation.
After I completed all of my “investigative questioning”, I formed my plan of action. I explained to the couple how I would approach the search and then I immediately got to work.
My initial focus was to metal detect a number of locations away from the wooden fence due to the interference coming from the neighbor’s chained link fence. Then, if nothing turned up, I would search around those more complicated spaces.
First, I swung my 6 inch coil over the patio, looking around small openings and tiny crevices where the ring could have slipped into. I detected the garden beds but there was no sign of the gem there either. Next, I moved my way towards the shed and searched all of the lawn that was part of Mile’s path leading to and from the far rear of the property. When nothing panned out in that section, I metal detected the pile of dirt that Miles had been taking soil from four days earlier. Unfortunately, no platinum was found there either. Before moving on, I detected the rest of the ground behind the shed and still I couldn’t find the ring anywhere.
Even though the couple shared in their account that Miles had not remembered walking on the main area of the backyard lawn during the time that he had Christy’s ring, I wanted to make sure that that section was clear. Sometimes people have no recollection of being in a certain spot and so they don’t investigate it. Then later, come to find out, that’s exactly where the missing item had ended up all along!
I metal detected the entire backyard lawn that was probably 75 feet by 100 feet. I discovered various metallic items during my journey across the grass, but Christy’s ring was not a part of my findings. My mind rested knowing that I was able to confirm that the sapphire and diamond ring was not lost on the grass and I could concentrate my efforts and energy towards the shed, the fences and the recycling bag of sticks, leaves and branches.
I checked the entire shed but the ring did not turn up there. I looked in the recycling bag but there was not much to even rummage through. That area, as well, was clear of the diamond ring. At that point, I only had the wooden fence area to search.
The way that I tackled the fence area was to focus on the easiest spots to search first. Then, if nothing panned out there, I would strategize how to handle the more complicated sections next.
I started over by the area of the wooden fence that was half way across the property. Just as I shared earlier, the adjacent neighbor’s chain linked fence was running parallel with Miles and Christy’s and I believe there was a gap that was a foot or less between the two structures. I got down on the ground and metal detected not only a pile of dirt that was already combed through by the couple, but I carefully removed dirt and leaves that were near the fences. I did this so that I could metal detect far enough away from the metal fence and not have to worry about interfering signals coming off of the chain linked wall. I discovered other pieces of aluminum but Christie’s ring was not in that location.
Once I knew that everything was clear on the couple’s side of the fence, I requested approval to search on the neighbor’s property. Miles immediately got clearance from his neighbor for me to head on over. Miles and I started down the block and around the corner where we entered the backyard in question.
After introducing myself to Mile’s neighbor, he let us back to the fence line where I began my next investigation. I metal detected all of the piles of weeds and overgrowth which the neighbor had carefully bundled together and everything was clear of the ring.
Next, I moved over to the chain-linked fence and manually moved dirt and debris away from the “metal partition” as I did on the other side of the neighbor’s property. I used a handheld metal detector to see if the ring ended up falling in that area on the ground. When detecting near a metal fence, one must push the loose earth, grass and weeds away from that zone in order to create separation from all that metal interference. If not, the precious item that one is looking for could end up being “masked” over by the dominant signal coming from the fence. Still, unfortunately my efforts led to no avail.
When that task proved to gain no results, I moved my way towards the part of the neighbor’s fence where Miles first leaned over his side of the property to start trimming the tree branches above. I knelt down and looked through the chain linked fence to see if Christy’s ring ended up in the very narrow space between the two fences (approximately 13 inches wide at one end and then down to 1 inch at the other – like a slim triangle of space that was about 4 to 6 feet long between the two fences). There were nothing but untouched, old crinkled up leaves resting on the ground. Again, there was no sign of any precious gems settled at the surface of nature’s remnants.
I tried to metal detect that area with my handheld pinpointer but the metal fence would not allow me get any separation. If I wanted to make sure that the ring didn’t fall down into that spot, I would have to return to Miles and Christy’s property and request that some of their fence pickets be removed in order for me to crawl into that very narrow space between the two fences to metal detect over the leaves.
There was nothing more that I could do on the neighbor’s side, and so I turned back to my client’s yard and updated Miles as to what we needed to do next. I told him that unless I had missed finding the ring somewhere on the property that I had already searched, there was a slim chance that perhaps the ring came off of his finger above that small strip of space between the two fences. Therefore, I requested that he pry off enough fence pickets for me to place my small metal detector coil into that area to conduct my search of that section.
Miles was extremely supportive by removing a number of pickets in order for me to seek out any new clues as to where Christy’s beautiful keepsake ended up. I carefully placed my six inch coil into the opening of the wooden fence and then set my machine to low sensitivity in order to avoid hitting any signals coming from the metal fence. After a few slow swings, I did in fact get some separation from the chain linked divider and a curious target signal reached my metal detector. The numbers that registered on my screen were the very target numbers that I had been looking for during the last few hours of my search! I thought to myself, ‘Could this be too good to be true? Could the ring have fallen to this very spot and buried itself under the leaves?’ I have seen and experienced many bizarre twists and turns in my searches and I hoped that this would be yet another fantastic finish! In all honesty, this was the very last place that the ring could have ended up unless I had accidentally missed it somewhere else on the property.
At first, I leaned half of my body into the open space between the fences and attempted to use my handheld pinpointer to scan the ground in the area where I picked up that promising signal. However, I did not have enough leverage to effectively metal detect with my device far enough away from the chain-linked fence so as to avoid picking up that undesired metal.
The only way that I could effectively investigate that curious signal was to fully crawl into that tiny area between the fences. So that’s exactly what I did next. I asked Miles to pull off a few more pickets and he immediately got to work. Then, I carefully wedged my way into the hole and knelt down at the spot where there was approximately 13 inches of room to bend my knees. I then reduced the sensitivity of my pinpointer so that I didn’t pick up the neighbor’s metal fence. Finally, I began scanning the ground in the area where I sought after that one signal.
Even on low sensitivity, I would end up picking up the metal fence when I was even 4 inches away from it. Therefore, it was extremely important that I slowly moved the handheld detector across all of the territory that was more than 4 inches away from the fence.
After a minute of moving the pinpointer slowly from left to right and down towards me in that tiny space that I was tucked away in, my handheld detector picked up a small object below the leaves. It happened to be located in the very spot where my other machine registered that one particular target when I was standing on the other side of the fence. As I kept the pinpointer positioned at the same place where it was sounding off and vibrating, I moved my fingers through the debris field of leaves and dry dirt. There before my very own eyes I saw a beautiful silver colored object appear from below! Then, a second later I saw the most glorious “halo” and pretty diamonds surrounding a lovely center stone! I found it! I found Christy’s lost engagement ring! I couldn’t believe it!
After all of that searching, at the very last possible location, I recovered her most precious piece of sentimental jewelry! It was there all along, hidden between the two fences, buried under the old crinkled up leaves that had fallen to the earth the previous autumn season! When Miles had been trimming the tree branches above that spot, the ring had fallen off of his pinky finger and landed back there behind the wooden fence and disappeared into the leaves!
I was so excited to solve the mystery of the disappearing ring! I was even more thrilled to first surprise Miles with the news, and then soon after spring the reveal upon the love of his life! The couple could not have been happier and finally relieved from their 4 days of complete confusion and bewilderment!
This search and recovery story will live on to be one of my favorite fantastic finishes! I was so happy to be a part of returning two shining smiles back onto the faces of both Christy and Miles!
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