Dave Cartee

Lost Diamond Ring in Orange Beach, AL – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

Felicia and Scott have been down from Tennessee enjoying this beautiful Orange Beach weather. The first day here Scott got a little sunburned so the next day Felicia was being extra careful to put plenty of sunscreen on the little ones. Like a lot of people, she took her ring off so she wouldn’t get it too greasy and she slipped it into her swimsuit thinking it would only be there for a second or two. Sure enough, moments later she had forgotten all about the ring as she rushed into the gulf to play with the kids in the waves. A few hours later as they were walking to their car, she noticed it was gone and that’s when panic ensued. You can imagine the frantic search that followed and understand why she got up at the crack of dawn to go comb the beach the following morning. Luckily for her there was a nice man that saw her looking and suggested the Ringfinders service. She was quickly searching on the internet and before she knew it she had my name and phone number. When she called and told me everything I knew that it was most likely in the water. I told them I was on the way. When I got there it was pretty crowded but they had a very good idea where they had gone into the Gulf. I explained that I would go back and forth in a grid pattern to make sure I covered everything but not to worry if it took a little while. I saw them both looking anxiously on as I dug a couple of coins shaking my head that no, that wasn’t it. Then I got the tone I wanted to hear and I very gently took a deeper scoop so I wouldn’t scratch anything. As the sand rushed out of my scoop I saw the telltale glint of gold and diamonds. I turned and smiled and gave them a nod and Felicia came rushing to meet me at the water’s edge. Now Scott and Felicia have been together since the eighth grade so I knew she was going to be excited but I have to say that Felicia wins for loudest, most excited shouts of joy ever. She screamed for joy so long that several people asked if we had gotten engaged. 😃. Gotta love it, that’s why I do what I do. This is a beautiful ring and I’m glad I could return it to such a beautiful couple. Congrats Scott and Felicia. God Bless!

Priceless Ring Lost! – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

What an awesome ring recovery!  Bailey reached out to me this weekend and told me that he had dropped his wedding band as they were tying up their boat at his Grandfather’s home. It sounded pretty straightforward but we decided to wait until a bit later so the water could come down and the depth would be a bit shallower. I finally made it out to their home in Saraland, AL and as I walked down to the boat slip I got to meet some of the family. He pointed to where he lost the ring and I decided to put on my drysuit since this water was cold and we thought it was going to be about 5 ft deep. As soon as my feet hit the bottom I realized this was going to be tough. I was on my tiptoes and even though I am 6’3”, the water was up to my chin. It was a small area though so my hopes were high. The first two signals I got could have been gold rings but they also sounded like pull tabs off a Coke can. When the pull tabs came up we thought we had found the culprit as Bailey’s Grandfather stood holding a soda can with no pull tab. We all had a big laugh when his Grandad cracked a huge smile and explained that he never threw his in the water. 😃. The next signal I got was a high tone but I’ve learned over the years that a large men’s ring can sometimes sound high pitched. This one was a bit deeper so I just held my breath and went under for a few scoops. I came up with lots of mud and leaves in my scoop and started to try to sift out the debris. We all heard a little clink of metal so I decided to hand the scoop up to Bailey so that he could dump it out on the boat dock and sort through it. He didn’t even have to say a word, as soon as he saw the ring his smile lit up so much that I knew he had it. Before I was even out of the water, Bailey and his Grandfather were telling me the rest of the story. Bailey just got married this past October. The ring was actually three rings put together by the jeweler. One ring belonged to the Grandfather I was talking to, one ring belonged to Bailey’s Grandfather who had passed away and one ring belonged to Bailey’s Great Grandfather who had passed on as well. With Bailey wearing this ring to honor these men in his marriage, that would make 3 generations of rings at stake. Now you can see why this ring is priceless. Bailey I’m so glad you trusted me to help you recover such an amazing part of your family’s history. I hope the future for you is just as fantastic. God Bless!

Lost Ring Orange Beach, AL – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

The first ring recovery of the year is always special but this one was awesome for multiple reasons!  Not only did I get to put a wedding band back on someone’s hand where it belongs but I also got to take a picture without worrying about a mask in over a year. This first call of the season happened to be the exact day that I could consider myself vaccinated from COVID after getting my second shot 2 weeks earlier. Yesterday evening, my new friend Mary called and said that she and her husband had come down from Birmingham with the family to enjoy Spring Break. Her husband had been playing beach volleyball the afternoon before when he noticed his Wedding band was no longer on his hand. He wasn’t 100% sure that it had come off then but after having it on for 14 years he was pretty sure he felt it go flying in the sand. They quickly realized that a metal detector was a good idea and they went and purchased one. Unfortunately, they ran into the two problems that often occur with this solution. #1)- the detectors designed to be used on our saltwater beaches are very expensive and unfortunately the cheaper ones can be almost useless. #2)- when the machine starts beeping a lot, without years of practice it can be hard to decipher what you are listening to. They then proceeded to plan B where they dug in the sand for hours hoping to find it. This also usually ends up being a bad idea because that will actually just make the ring drop deeper into the sand and harder to find. Luckily a friend suggested me and Mary gave me a call. After talking for a bit, my wife and I headed that way and made it to Orange Beach before the sun set. It made for some great, happy pictures when less than 10 minutes later I was able to gently scoop up her husbands wedding band and return it to her. Mary FaceTime’d her husband and we all celebrated. I am so very glad that they reached out to me and I’m so glad that I was able to start out the 2021 ring return season with a huge smile. Thank you Mary for trusting me to find your husband’s ring.

Lost Wedding Ring – Pensacola, FL – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

So apparently Pine straw is out there trying to steal some rings so be careful. 😃. A few days ago I received a call from Bill. Actually backing up, Shelly, Bill’s wife had heard about me from a friend and messaged me through Facebook. After a quick reply, she had Bill call me. Bill described that he had been working in the yard putting out some pine straw when he looked down and saw that his ring was missing. Bill had been wearing that ring for the last 38 years so I was willing to bet that he noticed it was gone quicker than most people would have. When I told him how I could help he decided he wanted me to come try even though he wasn’t 100% sure that it was in the yard. I was pretty sure that I could find it and I was determined to try. What Bill didn’t realize is that when I saw the address I noticed that he lived in the neighborhood next to mine. If there is one thing I like even more than helping people find a ring, it’s helping a neighbor find their ring. When I got there, I switched to the pinpointer coil so that I could get down between the bushes and Bill went back inside to let me concentrate. He didn’t have to wait long and was beside himself when I knocked on his door and told him his ring was perched on my detector by the tree (Covid safe 😷👍). He was even more surprised when he went to talk about a reward and I explained that I literally could have cut through the neighborhood and walked there. I wouldn’t take anything from my neighbor and new friend. I’m so happy that I could help!  Merry Christmas to you both Bill and Shelly!  God bless!

Lost Alabama Class Ring – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

One night last week I got a call from a very nice gentleman that needed some help. He had been out putting in pine straw and when he got done he noticed that his class ring wasn’t on his hand. This was really bad because he’d had this ring on his finger since 1968 when he graduated from the University of Alabama. He immediately told his wife and she put out the call for help. Someone eventually told her about what I do and gave her my phone number. When Mr. Spivey called he asked if I was the Ringmaster, I was tempted to say yes but I didn’t want to jinx myself. 😃 He was very nice and explained what happened and I told him how I thought I could help. We agreed that I would come early the next morning and I asked him to text me the address. He explained that he didn’t have all of that techy stuff and offered to give me the address and directions. I told him the address would be great but he very thoroughly proceeded to give me the directions. I was thrilled to hear someone describe exactly how to get to their home and go over each part of the route that they felt was important to describe the way to their home. I thought about how technology had changed a lot of that but I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him describe that route he had been so many times. 👍 When I got to the house in the morning I was met in the driveway by a pretty Lab. I was pretty sure that she was friendly but I gave a quick call to the number I had. Mrs. Spivey assured me that “Penny” was a sweetheart and I opened my door to lots of tail wagging and some curious sniffs. By that time, Mrs Spivey had come out and walked me out to the back so I could see all of the fresh pine straw. They weren’t 100% sure that it was in the yard but it seemed like the most logical place so I started my search. Mrs Spivey went back inside and instructed me to knock if I needed anything. I was using a small sharpshooter coil so I was able to go through everything and stick it down between all of the shrubs as well. As Murphy’s law would state, I was at the very last bush when I got a beautiful, very obvious gold tone. I pulled back the leaves and parted the fresh pine straw to see a gorgeous, well loved, solid gold ring with a Crimson stone on top. I thought for just a second about how much it had been a part of Mr. and Mrs Spivey’s lives and then I went to knock on the door. She came out and asked if I needed anything and finally noticed the ring when I pointed to it on my detector. As you can imagine, she was thrilled and even got a bit choked up when she talked about getting it back to her husband. I am so glad I got to make sure that it wasn’t the end of the journey for your family heirloom. Merry Christmas to you both.   

Lost engagement ring, Pensacola – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

What better way to transition into fall than one last ring return on a Volleyball court. I had just returned home when I got a call from my buddy Charlie who is out in CA. He had received a call from a friend of his named Joey who had in turn gotten a call from his wife Nicole and she was in a panic. Nicole had been playing Volleyball with her daughter at a local park and looked down to notice that her wedding ring and her engagement ring were no longer on her hand. This is about the time the panic had ensued and I think everyone will agree that it was totally justified. Luckily Charlie is a great guy and rather than telling Joey that he was out of town, he tracked me down and put us in touch. We were running out of daylight so I loaded up as fast as possible and called Joey to tell him that I could help and get an idea where to go. I pulled in the park and although there were lots of people there enjoying the playground equipment I had no doubt who I was looking for. As soon as I pulled my gear out, a big group of ladies and young people started waving me down. I noticed that they all had makeshift seines and colanders and I wondered which one was Nicole. Then I noticed the lady who was crying and I knew I had found her. I immediately introduced myself and told her not to worry that I was totally going to help her. She told me that I didn’t understand, they had searched everywhere that it could be with the strainers and they had even found the wedding band but she feared the engagement ring might be anywhere in the park and she was distraught. I asked her if they had been there the entire time and they said yes. I tried again to reassure her as I explained what I was doing and started my grid pattern. I made about one pass but as I was talking to her I could see she was in agony so I decided to take a different approach. I told her to tell me where she had found the gold band, she told me that they had already looked there and I told her to humor me. She did and I asked her if they changed sides at all and she said no. Lastly, I asked her if she wore her band closest to her heart and she said yes. I took a step towards the way I thought the ring first off her hand would fly and I said, “watch this” with a big smile. I went about two steps and got a good tone. I don’t think she realized I had something until I kneeled down with my pinpointer and then stood up saying, “Does it look like this?”  She broke down in tears and I was reminded why I love doing this so much. Congratulations Nicole and Joey. Thank you very much for trusting me to help you. God Bless!  💍

Lost Ring, Perdido Beach – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)


Sometimes everything comes together and no matter how lost something is, it’s just bound to be found. That was the case for this young lady on the beach yesterday afternoon who had lost a very important ring. It was already very late after work but I decided to hit the beach anyway. I had already gone to one parking area but after I walked all the way to the water I realized that I left my battery in the car. I walked all the way out and decided that I should head down the beach a bit because of a storm that was on the way. When I got there I decided to turn towards the rain cloud so that if I got caught in the storm, I would have the wind at my back running to the car. All of these things seemed to innocently transpire all to have BrieOcea come running up to me after only about five minutes on the beach. She asked if I was holding a metal detector and she looked hopeful when I told her I was. I asked her if she had lost something and she replied that she had dropped a ring that had been in her family for generations. I told her that I would be glad to take a look and asked her what the ring was made out of and when she lost it. She said it had almost been a week and that she thought it was silver. I think she saw me start to lose some confidence because she quickly assured me that it was a very small area. I asked her a little more about the ring and she said that there was a large black stone with a diamond in it. I made a note to dig everything because while possible, especially on older rings, diamonds are usually not on silver. I started gridding back and forth and it wasn’t long before she came over and said that her boyfriend had called from the condo and told her that we were slightly in the wrong spot. I made the adjustment and went back to the search. I found a coin or two and got my hopes up. Then I got a signal that could be trash but I knew it could also be gold. I went ahead and dug it because of my earlier thoughts about the diamond. I am very glad that I did because I pulled out a beautiful gold ring with a black stone and a diamond in it. When I called her over, she placed it back on her finger and she was just thrilled. She mentioned that she had made up her mind to not worry and let things work themselves out. When I told her the events that led me to her she said God must have sent me her way. Indeed!  I am so very glad that I could help reunite you with such a special ring. 😃

Lost Ring Gulf Shores, AL – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

My wife Jeannie and I had another great afternoon today helping someone find their lost ring. As soon as I saw the message from Kristen this morning I could tell by the detail with which she described everything that this ring was really special to her. In actuality it was two rings because like a lot of people do, she had the wedding band and the engagement ring soldered together. This ring really meant a lot because of the family history attached to it. It had different diamonds that had once been worn by her Grandmother, her Mother and even some that had been in her Father’s wedding band. She definitely wanted this ring back. She lost it last Wednesday but finally a friend of hers had seen my website and referred her to Ringfinders. I was more than willing to help but we had a huge problem. The ring was on a stretch of beach that is usually off limits to metal detectorists. I provided some Google help and Kristen and I both started calling different numbers trying to find someone to plead Kristen’s story to in hopes of getting permission. After a lot of hold time and busy signals, Kristen finally got someone on the line who gave us written permission to head out. When we got to the beach, Kristen’s husband had done a great job of dropping a GPS pin where they had been swimming. I quizzed Kristen about how deep she had been wading and did some quick calculations based on the tide charts and I headed out to where I hoped it would be. Sometimes everything works out for the best and even after a few days in the Gulf I very quickly heard the sound of gold in my headphones. I walked over to Kristin who was in the water and I asked her if she wanted to leave her ring on the beach this time or did she just want me to give it back to her now?  As I started to smile she realized what I was saying and got excited. She followed me to the beach and got choked up as the gravity of getting her ring back with so much family history sunk in. I am so glad I could help you Kristen. I wish y’all the very best.

Lost Texas A&M Ring – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

Sunday closed out what was an epic weekend of recoveries. I didn’t think it could get any better until I got home around noon and saw an email from Jesse. He left his phone number so I immediately called him. Now before I go any further, some of you may not know about my relationship with Texas A&M. Last spring I got a call from an Aggie saying she had  lost her class ring at night and I was lucky enough to find it. Then I was on the beach in the summer and a man approached me saying he lost his, you guessed it, Texas A&M class ring. I found it. Later in the summer, I got another call and after I found his too, I joked that I would need an honorary t-shirt or something if I kept finding them. It happened to get on the Aggie website and people were sharing left and right and messaging me to say thanks and I even got a 12th man towel sent to me. Awesome people. 😃. The calls kept coming but I ran into some bad luck. I had the first Aggie ring that I just couldn’t find and then I had another that was lost on the National Seashore and the Ranger would not give me permission to even look. I thought maybe the magic with the Aggies was over. That was until Jessie said the ring he lost was a class ring. I said, wait a minute, are you an Aggie?  When he said yes, I laughed a little to myself and said, I’m coming to find your ring. I talked my secret good luck charm (my wife) into going for some added help and we set off for another hour drive to Alabama. Jesse was still there with his parents standing watch and we talked for a bit before I started my search in the water. There were tons of people and it took all of my social skills to keep a good line while at the same time not risking the Coronavirus. Two hours later I was seriously wishing for the last 2 days where I had quick recoveries. I was determined though and I came back to talk to Jessie and check on my wife. My wife told me later that she had overheard Jesse’s dad consoling him and comforting him saying it would all be ok. She got a bit choked up and decided then to make me keep going no matter what. She is a trooper.   I took a different approach in my questioning with Jesse and felt some renewed hope when I realized Jesse was trying to tell me where he thought the ring would be and not where he was. You can credit his Mom for having him stand in the water where he thought he had lost it. I got a whole new perspective when he said he had walked out in front of one of the volleyball courts but he couldn’t remember which one. I started my second pass and I got a loud signal that sounded like a penny. I had already dug over 50 pennies in the previous hours but I never leave a good signal when I’m helping someone just in case. Sure enough, in the scoop was this young Aggie’s solid gold ring that means an incredible amount to him. I looked up and realized that no one was paying attention and they didn’t see me scoop it. So I took my headphones off and walked over to the family as if I had another question. I said Jesse, one more thing. Looking dejected he said, yes sir?  I said, it was the second volleyball court. As I smiled and held out my scoop they all realized what I was saying and literally jumped up and down hugging each other!  It was awesome!  What other hobby let’s you help so many people. Keep them coming Texas A&M, I don’t ever want you to lose one but if you do, I’ll be here to help. Congrats Jesse, your Mom and Dad and your Collegiate family are awesome!  GIG EM! 😃

Lost Necklace Pensacola Beach – FOUND!!!

  • from Orange Beach (Alabama, United States)

Saturday night was day two of what turned out to be an epic weekend. I had been looking forward to this day for a long time because we got to take my 16yr old daughter Haley car shopping for the first time. I knew how important the day would be to us all so I planned on no recoveries at all. I still had to give Blair a call though when I saw her message to me bright and early. I talked to her for awhile and told her how I could help and she explained about how she had lost her necklace on the beach the night before. She explained that it had a lot of sentimental value to her and I gave her two options. I told her that I would be glad to put her in touch with a friend of mine who could be there that morning or I could come out myself the next day. She said that she was sure my friend was great but there was just something about me that made her trust me. Well that made me feel like a million bucks and I told my wife about the awesome compliment. Once again Jeannie came to the rescue and reminded me that we were supposed to take back the kids after dinner and if I was up for an evening hunt, she would go with me. I called Blair back and she was thrilled and we made arrangements to meet on the beach right before sunset. When we got there, we all said hello from a Covid safe distance 😄 and they pointed out the area they had marked where they thought the necklace had fallen. I went over and was setting up my machine. I have learned over the years to open up the metals I can hear when the person doesn’t sound completely sure what it is made out of. I’m glad I did because less than two minutes later I had a tone that was almost like gold but it sounded clean in my ears. I reached down after moving a little sand and pulled out the necklace. Two recoveries in two days in less than five minutes of searching. Awesome!  As you can see, Blair was also thrilled. Thank you for putting your trust in me. I’m glad I was able to help. 👍