Everyone knows how toddlers love to play with Mom & Dad’s things. They hide them, put them in the trash, and sometimes throw them off the balcony. That’s what Amy’s three-year-old son did with her husband’s Cartier wedding ring: he threw it off the balcony into the neighbor’s side yard.
Amy searched the area and found a whole collection of her son’s golf balls, sidewalk chalk and more, but no ring. So she searched Google for “metal detector ring finder” and found us.
The first thing I did when I arrived was survey the search area. Much of it was covered by a scrap lumber pile, and nails and screws protruded from many of the boards. These would be difficult and dangerous to move. But it is very important to be systematic in difficult search areas, so I started at the highest point, a few feet above the lumber pile.
Underneath a stairway, I got several signals, including a strong point signal that showed as a shallow, pure-metal target on my display. Although rings often give exactly this type of signal, in this case it was a wad of aluminum foil pressed into the soil and covered by a large plastic sheet. After I ruled out all the signals that I could find with my large detector, I scanned a crevice next to the sidewalk with my handheld pinpointer, a small detector with which I could avoid the rebar inside the concrete.
Bingo! The ring was wedged into the crevice near the end of a buried board. I couldn’t even see it until I removed a layer of leaves and debris. It was a large ring, just the kind of thing a toddler would love to play with, and ultimately throw off the balcony. Amy was happy to get it back, and didn’t tell her husband she had it back until he got home from work.
Click here to read more stories about finding lost rings in the San Francisco Bay Area, from San Jose up to Marin County.