Last night, Benj took out a box of recycling for collection. As he threw the box into the big recycling bin, he felt it scrape his platinum wedding band off his finger. His hand was still in the bin, so that’s where he figured the ring would be.
But he couldn’t find it. After searching the recycling bin and the nearby area thoroughly, he dumped the entire bin into a large plastic bag and brought it upstairs into his apartment. Then he searched the web for Metal Detector Rentals, and found the RingFinders.
I met Benj in Menlo Park (between Palo Alto and Redwood City) this afternoon. We searched the area around the bin, which didn’t take long because it was all concrete. Then we spread out the contents of the bin on the ground.
First we removed the tin cans and inspected them closely. Next we pulled out the bottles, tin foil and miscellaneous metal debris. Then I could begin scanning the rest with my metal detector. This kind of hunt is like searching a crime scene: you have to be thorough.
One of the last items was a dark brown padded envelope. The metal detector indicated that there was something metal inside, but the envelope was sealed, with only a two-inch tear at one end. I scanned it again with my handheld metal detector, called a pinpointer, which indicated there was definitely a small item in one corner. Squeezing that corner of the envelope, I could feel the ring. I ripped open the envelope, told Benj, “Hold out your hand!” and dumped out the ring into his open palm.
Here’s the mystery: How did the ring get into the padded envelope, when there was only a small tear at one end? Benj called it a one-in-a-million chance, and I agree. The good news is, the ring is now back on his finger where it belongs.
Click here to read more stories about ring recoveries in the San Francisco Bay area.