Gold Ring, Lost In The Snow, in Bath, Maine Found 3 Months Later, With A Metal Detctor

  • from Old Orchard Beach (Maine, United States)

On Saturday, April 20th, I received a text, from Sandra. The text said,

“Hi! I saw that you do metal detecting. A few months ago I lost my mother’s ring. She passed away last month and I’d like to try to find it”.
I replied to Sandra, by asking a few questions,

“Sorry to hear this. A few questions.
1) Do you know where it was lost?
2) Is this private or public property and do you have the authority to let someone metal detect at the property?
3) What kind of ring is it and the metal it is made of?
4) Where are you located?
Thank you,
Sandra replied by telling me,
“Hamilton Audubon sanctuary in the parking lot. I don’t think it would be an issue to check there. I’m not 100% sure that’s where I lost it. But if it’s findable it’s there. Probably along the edge in the grass. It was winter. I am unsure what type of metal. It may have been sterling silver. I am in the Bangor area. Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary is near Bath. I don’t have any time to come down in the next few weeks. I also don’t have anyone in the area. I think I lost the ring out of the parking lot within 5-10 feet of the edge. So hopefully it didn’t get plowed. Also if it’s in the grass hopefully no one else found it”.

I then told Sandra that I would Contact the Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary, a division of Merrymeeting Audubon and Maine Audubon, to receive permission to metal detect, on their property. Metal detecting, on someone’s property, without permission, is illegal and you take the chance of being arrested and having your detector confiscated.
I called the Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary and sent an email, as well. With it being a Saturday, I told Sandra that it would most likely be Monday, before I heard anything back from them. She concurred.
I did hear back from Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary, on Monday, April 22nd, and they granted me permission, to search for the ring. Maine Audubon was also very helpful and supportive of my efforts, to try and recover the lost ring. They even told me the plow may have moved it, further back from the parking lot. I communicated with many people from The Maine Audubon Society, Merrymeeting Audubon and, of course, Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary. They were all, incredibly kind, in granting permission and were really hoping for a successful recovery, for Sandra.
I let Sandra know about the permission and told her that my wife and I would travel to Town of West Bath, about 60 miles, from our home, in Saco, Maine and search for the missing ring on Friday, April 26th. Sandra was happy and hopeful that her ring would be searched for and found.
On Friday, my wife and I traveled to Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary and pulled into the parking lot, at approximately 8:45am. Only one other car, was in the small parking lot and I parked on the far right side of the lot, and decided to start my search on the grass, near the right side entrance. Not certain of the metal, the ring was made of, I would be checking out lots of different targets.
I had searched for about 10 feet, when I received that sweet low tone of gold. Unfortunately, foil, pull tabs, and other low conductive metals can also give me that low tone. Another good sign, was the 12-13 reading, on my Minelab CTX-3030 detector. The 12 would represent a Non-Ferrous metal and the 13 would represent the conductivity, of the metal. Definitely in the gold range, but I really didn’t think I would find it, in under 2 minutes. After all, it was next to the parking lot and road, where lots of trash could have accumulated. As I brushed back the leaves and grass, with my hand. I came across a White Gold Ring, with a Blue Center Stone and 2 small diamonds, on each side of the blue stone. I couldn’t believe it. Not even 2 minutes, my 1st target, turned out to be Sandra’s Mothers Ring, or at least I thought. After all, Sandra was unsure of the metal, the ring was made of and she had never told me if the ring was a band or had any stones. I decided to text Sandra, to let her know I arrived at the location and would like a description of the ring, not telling her I had just found a ring. Sandra texted me right back and told me the following
“Silver with a blue center ring and 4 small diamonds”. Well the color is silver but the metal is definitely white gold and is stamped as such, on the inside of the band. I then texted her back saying, “Awesome. I found it”. I then sent her a photo of her ring. She replied, “Omg that makes me so happy! Thank you so much! It means so much that you found it. It’s been keeping me up after she died so thank you”. I just love being able to help people, like Sandra.
I was able to call and talk to Sandra, Friday night, after she got home, from work. She was extremely happy and thankful, about getting her ring back soon. Sandra detailed the events, leading up to her losing the ring. She had traveled to Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary, on that day, in January, from Portland, where she was visiting and staying, in a hotel. When she arrived at the Sanctuary, she was leading a group of birds watchers, through the Sanctuary. As the walk started and still in the parking lot area, she noticed her ring was no longer on her finger. The group was standing in snow, just outside the parking lot. She wasn’t sure if she lost it in the snow, or had lost it in Portland, that morning. She searched the snow, but it was useless, as she could not see anything, below the top of the snow. As the days, turned to weeks, which turned into months, Sandra was still thinking of her Mother’s lost ring and then,her mother passed away, in March. This really made Sandra, determined to find the ring. She then performed a Google search and found me. At this point, she contacted me and the rest, as they say, is history.
Although we won’t be meeting up, in person, to return the ring, I could just feel her excitement, on the phone. I will be mailing the ring back to her, on Monday. We live just over 3 hours from each other and neither one of us will be traveling near each other’s town, anytime soon.
I just love being able to help people out in their time of need.

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