Today I received an email from a gentleman asking if I could help him find his lost ring in the backyard. After a simple conversation I learned that he had been applying some mulch over his newly seeded grass. In doing so his loose gold heirloom ring from his late father flew off his finger while tossing the mulch over the grass. He told me he watch the ring fly off into the bushes over some thick high plant ground cover. He indicated that he had purchased a metal detector on line. While trying to find his ring with the basic metal detector he told me it kept making noises because there was some buried wires for the garden lights making it difficult. He said the known area was about a 10 ft radius and should be easy for me to locate the ring. With the basic details of this loss I agreed to head straight over after work to start the search.
Upon arriving he showed me the area. It was a fairly typical residential garden situation. I was brimming with confidence knowing my equipment and experience is well suited for this type of search. I started fetching gear from my vehicle I selected two search coils and proudly placed them on the drive way as I put my rubber boots on excited for another ring hunt. I gathered a few additional items and it was at this point when I went to grab the rest of my metal detector control head I realized this critical piece of gear was left at home. I am constantly switching gear in my vehicle from SCUBA to land search tools. I have a really good system but even I had to come clean. I said I was a little embarrassed that I had not packed my main detector. I typically pride my self in having more than enough with back up options. This was a work with what you have moment on the spot kind of situation now. Sometimes the trouble shooting process takes a slight detour in your process to see what you can do when the pressure is on. I confessed that I had forgot to pack my main machine but I could still perform a search with what was available as I had another piece of equipment. I then asked him if he could bring out the recently purchased metal detector. He was a little taken back thinking I had another option. I clarified my situation that all I had was my small pin pointer and would like to also use his machine. He quickly brought his machine out from his garage and asked if I knew how to use it? I assured him we would recover his ring based on his report that he watched it fly off his finger.
Having a container of assorted rings on hand I sourced a gold mens wedding band that was close in design to his. I used my ring as a quick test of his basic machine and it worked. We tested the sensitivity of his detector by placing my test ring under some of the vegetation and it had sufficient penetration so my confidence was building. I know at the very least I could find it with my pin pointer but also didn’t want to spend all evening poking around like a mad man either. With his basic machine I quickly cleared a portion of the grass that had mulch thrown over it even though he kept telling me he had watched it go into the bushes. I reassured him that I believe him and just want to clear this easy grass before crawling into the bushes as sometimes rings hit things and bounce so let me clear this easy area first. This took all of just a minute at most to pass over a small area of the grass. Within another minute of swinging over the ground cover I quickly found the yard light wires laying on the surface causing a lot of noice. At this point I got on my hands and knees with my trusty Whites TRX pin pointer in hand and it also got a lot of interference. I became a bit concerned but was able to pull the wire back a bit and finally the pin pointer quieted down. Within just a few swipes around the base of the bush trunk I got that a really strong signal. Could this be the ring after only three minutes of searching? After moving some leaves to my delight I could see that shiny gold ring buried under the rubbish. I pulled his gold heirloom ring out taking him by surprise of how quickly the hunt went.
Always remain humble. As much as you prepare for any situation in life that you have trained for just know obstacles and challenges will occur. Just take a deep breath, assess your inventory of options an do the best with what you have on hand. There is typically a way to succeed if you are patient with yourself and persistent in finding a solution.
All ended well with the recovery of his sentimental heirloom gold ring back on his finger where it belongs…