We received a call from a wonderful lady named Sandy, she said she had a desperate situation. I said OK, tell me what happened. With tears in her voice she said she lost a family heirloom, a 6 carat diamond ring, explaining how every diamond represented each member of her family who had passed away in her life time.
Sandy said that she had come home from work and gone into her kitchen. She always takes off her ring to fix dinner and always puts it in the exact same place. The ring slipped out of her hand and bounced once on the counter and disappeared. She had searched for 2 days but could not find the ring. She had removed everything from the counters, nearby shelving and checked under everything with no luck in locating her ring. I smiled to myself as she was telling me her story because it sounded just like a situation we had a few years ago of a man who loss his wedding band in his apartment bathroom. We made arrangements to come out in 2 days when her schedule would permit her to be there with us. (Note: Always have the client there when you initially search, many times the stories change when you arrive on site).
My wife Ellen, my son Tripp and I, all three went to Sandy’s home around 5:30pm; Sandy met us a the door and was so nice. I knew that our detectors would not work in her kitchen, so we only took in our pinpointers and inspection camera. Sandy described and went through the motions of reenacting what had happened with her ring. The whole time she was talking I was assembling my inspection camera. I began looking under and behind all the appliances and at first thought I saw it under the refrigerator but that was not it.
Then I laid on the floor and looked up under the kick plate of the kitchen cabinets and once again found a small gap of about 1/2 inch up under the cabinets. Understand this was not a large kitchen so we knew the item still had to be close. I used our inspection camera to run the 36″ camera line up inside the baseplate of the kick plate under the cabinets. The angle was very difficult to get the camera line into and tough to move around but in about 10 minutes we discovered the ring. I did not say anything but just winked at my son and my wife.
My son and I then went about trying to retrieve the ring as it was way back inside the underneath portion of the these cabinets. After using the tip of the camera and a coat hanger we began inch by inch to move the ring closer to the front of the cabinets, being only able get about 2 inches of our fingers inside gap. At this point the customer still did not know we had found the ring. While discussing techniques to retrieve the ring she heard us talking and we then confirmed with her what we found on our camera. She had to bend over and look at the screen but when she did she squealed, “that’s it, that’s it”, and began to cry. When she calmed enough to take a breath she started saying to her husband “they found it, they found it”. My wife had to console her while my son and I worked to pull out the ring. We could have had pulled off the baseboards but they had been painted over so many times and were so old we knew they would have broken. So we continued the slow way. Soon my son was able to get a coat hanger over the ring and then hook it enough to pull the ring up, remember this is being done laying on our backs looking at a 3″ screen on our inspection camera.
My son handed Sandy her 6 carat family ring (estimated $30,000), she was beyond happy, she hugged all of us many times and could not thank us enough. It was so much fun seeing her reaction and to know we helped put a smile back on her face and in her heart.
Another successful find for “The Ring Finders”.
Don & Ellen – Dallas