About 2 weeks ago I received a text from a fellow Western New Yorker who was in need of the Ring Finder’s. The target wasn’t a ring but an earing.
The text went on to describe a soccer game that his daughter played in, in the foothills of the Allegany Range, just north-east of Olean, NY. Before the game, a very precious and sentimental earing was removed and handed to Dad so it wouldn’t be lost during the game. ( I am sure for safety reason too…). After the game, Dad meet his daughter on the center-line stripe about halfway between the bottom of the circle and the sideline to assist in making sure the earing returned to its rightful spot. Unfortunately his hand was bumped during this attempt and the Allegany Mountains claimed gold.
I started the 90 minute trip to the soccer field around 8 AM Sunday morning. Moderate fog blanketed the foothills making the narrow wooded roads a fun and sort of mysterious journey. As I started the search the fog was still thick enough to obscure the beauty of the foothills surrounding me. I set up a search grid based on the field markings and the great map that was provided to me of what would be an 80 x 40 foot search area.
After just a few minutes it became clear to me that this field had never been detected before or at least hadn’t been in a long time. Coin targets everywhere! Staying focused I only checked ultra shallow targets by setting my Garrett AT Pro metal detector to max sensitivity, to find a tiny earing, and setting the pin-pointer to the shallowest setting to check the depth of the target as to spend time only on the shallow targets.
My first pass up and down the center line yielded lots of foil items and some surface coins, no doubt, from the most recent events on the field. I expanded my grid out to about 20 feet to each side of the centerline. I reversed my direction and re-searched this area for a second time but from the opposite direction. With no positive result I searched the entire area a third time but perpendicular to the first two searches. This change did help to uncover more signals, but unfortunately, not the earing.
After about 4 1/2 hours, and several tweaks of the metal detector, I was not able to recover the earing. I knew this was a tall task when I agreed to take on the search, but that is inconsequential to the prospect of not trying to help. While this may not be a “successful” recovery it shows that the Ring Finders will take on nearly any recovery mission, after all its returning irreplaceable items to their owner that is the greatest reward.
I received a call mid morning on Saturday the 7th of December 2019. The voicemail was that of a woman who described losing both her wedding band and engagement ring while on evening stroll in the back yard of her Orchard Park, NY home the night before.
During that stroll in a small wooded area Caroline took a fall as her feet got tied up in some vines on the ground. On her way down she felt the rings leave her finger and fly into the brush around her. She called her husband from the house to help in the search. A few minutes later her husband came out with flashlights and their search began. After some time they had to give up the search.
I was able to meet the couple the next day. I arrived to a grateful but distraught couple. They were able to give me a probable search area which was mostly a small wooded patch with a small creek nearby. I changed the large search coil on my AT Pro to smaller one to navigate all the trees and brush… and off I went. After about 30 minutes I had a nice shallow target and was able to find the gold and diamond engagement ring! The band couldn’t be too far away. After a few short minutes we recovered the wedding band…Success!!!
Earlier this week I received a message from a Lockport resident that told me her husband had lost his weeding band in their back yard. We set up a Saturday morning, 7/31/21, visit to hunt for the ring. I normally go on these recoveries by my self but my beautiful daughter Leah ask to help. So we loaded up the Garrett AT Pro along with other assorted search items and headed down Transit Road towards Lockport. Along the way we stopped for coffee and a sandwich from Tim Horton’s. About 35 minutes later we arrived at the location. We talked to the homeowner and got to work. As a metal detecting hobbyist it was hard not to dig all the coin signals that we all over the yard, but we had to stay focused. I ask the homeowner the age of the house and she said it was 125 years old…this made leaving the other good tones even harder to pass up. I set up a 25′ by 25′ visual grid and swept through in a north/south pattern. Checking all the shallow signals we came up empty handed. I searched that same area by turned east/west and researched the small area. About halfway back through that area I had a good tone. Leah bent down with the pinpointer and set it right on the target. She pushed the grass aside, and turned over a small, shallow plug of grass and bingo…GOLD! The homeowner nearly burst into tears of joy knowing she could reunite her husband with his ring….success!!! However…I couldn’t leave just yet. I asked the homeowner if I could did one or two of the deeper “sweet” tones I heard. I went back to a sold 87 on the AT Pro, which is usually a quarter. Indeed it was a quarter, a 1964 Washington…SILVER Baby! So the homeowner was given both gold and silver today!!!
I received a call from Mark in Lackawanna, NY who lost his wedding ring at a community/neighborhood party. I gave Mark a call and we set a day and time for me to stop by. The area where the ring was lost was a courtyard area that connected the backyards of six different apartment buildings. I met Mark on 6/15 around 5:45pm. The area where the party was loaded with little foil party favors. I ground balanced my AT Pro metal detector and used the notch discrimination to filter out some of the foil and off we went. It seemed that everyone from the neighborhood was pulling for Mark as a small crowd started to take an interest in the hunt. Mark was able to narrow down the areas where he was most of the night. Since the ring had only been lost a few days the ring was most likely only and inch or so deep even if it had been stepped on. I was listening for “loud” tones in my Garrett head phones and checking those tones as those are typically near the surface. I also had my Garrett Carrot pinpointer set shallow to try and eliminate objects that are deeper than what I was looking for. About 90 minutes in I bent down to pinpoint a promising tone, pulled the grass back and scratched the surface of the dirt to find Marks beautiful ring. I called Mark over and pointed out the ring in the dirt…success! Marks wife and neighbor’s cheered at the reunion of Mark and his ring!!!
Monday August 12, 2019. I received a call from a young woman who lost a ring while playing kickball at a local city park. The owner of the ring, Tamia, was rolling the ball for the kids to kick when she felt and saw her ring launch off her finger, fly through the air and land in the grass about 20′ away. The grass in that particular spot was very thick and matted making a visual recovery nearly impossible. For years Tamia was asking her mother if she could have that ring. Finally, on Tamia’s birthday earlier this year her mom gifted the ring to her. Tamia beamed with pride as she told me the story of how she gained possession of the beautiful gold and diamond ring and what it meant to her, and how devastating it would be to have to tell her mom that the ring was lost.
I arrived at the park after work around 4:15pm Monday afternoon. After a brief phone conversation with Tamia about the location where the ring was lost, I changed the batteries in my Garrett AT Pro metal detector and my Garrett Carrot pin-pointer and got busy. With the AT Pro metal detector set up in Pro-Zero mode and the pin-pointer set to detect surface and very shallow sub surface items, I set up some visual grid points with nearby objects and started the search. I found a small handful of coins, about $0.80 buried in the matted grass including a quarter sized coin from the United Arab Emirates. I got to the end of my 1st grid row and turned around and started my next pass. About 10 minutes after I got started my AT Pro rang up a mid to high 40’s signal. (a numeric scale on the metal detector to help the operator interpret what the detector has passed over) The signal was very loud in my headphones indicating a surface or near surface target. I turned on the pin pointer and pushed the tip into the grass to verify the depth and location of the target. When I pushed the tip of the pin pointer into the tangled grass, it deflected off the the side of an object that rested just below the surface of the grass. I pushed the grass away and saw Tamia’s ring sparkling in the sun. I got that ear to ear smile knowing the payoff of seeing this family treasure back where it belonged was at hand.
Tamia arrived about 30 minutes after I found the ring so I had plenty of time on how to reveal that the ring was recovered. As Tamia approached, I saw that she had two young children with her, this helped perfectly with the reveal. I asked Tamia if the oldest of the two children could have the coins I had found during my search, she approved. With an outstretched hand, the youngster eagerly awaited the coins, which fell into his hand. After his hand was nearly full I asked Tamia to open her hand so I could give her the rest of the coins and dropped the ring in her hand. She was immediately overcome with emotion…me too…this is the true payoff! Ring and finger were united once again as seen in the picture above.