Paul Humphreys, Author at The Ring Finders

Lost Keepsake Ring Found! Dousman, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Dousman, Wisconsin, resident Sarah Weishar was enjoying a swim with family and friends at a local lake, that is until she felt her petite gold and birthstone ring slip from her finger into the watery depths. But it was the ring’s threefold sentimental value that made the loss so acute—it was both a birthday gift and a commemoration gift, the latter being Sarah’s confirmation at church; the ring, with its cross and birthstone served as a tangible token of the fact she is a precious child of God and as such, to respect herself. Thirdly, the ring would remind her of a dearly loved cousin, Conner, who had sadly passed away; the ring spoke of his presence with her still and of his preciousness to her family.

After searching for hours, it seemed to Sarah her keepsake ring was lost forever.

It was later that she discovered The Ring Finders website directory of metal-detecting specialists. That’s when I received an email from Sarah asking if I could assist. There was a sense of urgency in her words that betrayed the pain of loss. It was as though I was her last hope.

After arriving on location it became apparent that the spot where the ring went missing was not so definitive. Underwater searches are challenging, especially when volleyball-court sized areas and larger are involved. It requires time and patience to execute a systematic grid-search, overlapping the search pattern so as not to miss any signals.

The lake quickly bore testimony to its popularity with local swimmers—there were coins galore! It has always bemused me why people swim with pockets full of loose change! Were there hidden underwater vending machines of which I was unaware? It took time to extract the coins but it was necessary to make sure Sarah’s tiny ring wasn’t hiding out with a nickel or a quarter. The Wisconsin lake also held its share of beer-bottle caps.


Darkness was fast closing in when a faint signal invited further examination. I extracted a scoop of sand and stones in my sieve and then swept over the excavation site with the coil of my Minelab Excalibur detector. The silence in my headphones confirmed that the source of the faint signal was now in my scoop. After sifting through the material there lay Sarah’s ring—mission accomplished! Now for the fun part…


I waded to shore where Sarah and her Mom and friends waited expectantly. They huddled around as I dug deep into my pocket and pulled out a fistful of coins. Then I produced a bottle cap. But what they didn’t know was that I had discretely slipped Sarah’s ring beneath it. “Here’s a Wisconsin souvenir for you,” I said as I placed the cap in her open hand. The puzzled look on Sarah’s face was predictable. Finally, like a magician, I whisked the cap away exposing the ring!

I just love how the mood changes when a ring is found! Smiles tell the rest of the story. It is what makes this hobby so enjoyable.

Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me the privilege of searching for and finding your precious ring. May its threefold story, now with a fourth, continue for many years to come.

Lost Platinum Wedding Band Found! – Pewaukee, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Pewaukee resident, Casey Williams, was enjoying a Sunday afternoon beach volleyball game with friends at Balmer Park when his heavy platinum wedding band came up missing. Despite an extensive search in the sand the ring could not be found.

I received a call from Casey the next morning and we made arrangements to meet on location that evening.

I arrived ahead of Casey and so began to do a grid search in the first of two volleyball courts. A child’s Matchbox truck came to light as well as a dime. The rest of the court was quiet until my XP Deus let out a solid bark. Approximately 5 inches deep in the sand Casey’s ring came to the light of day once again.

A short time later, Casey arrived. When I presented him with the little toy truck to keep as a souvenir, I could tell by the look in his face that Casey was disappointed. Then I handed him what he really hoped I would find—his ring!

It was great to locate and return your precious ring, Casey.

TESTIMONIAL – “When I lost my platinum wedding ring, I was nervous to trust someone I had never met with not only finding the ring, but especially being honest about it. There are many scenarios that played out in my head, but thankfully the reality was that Paul proved himself to be extremely competent and just as trustworthy. While I hope I don’t need his services again, I’m very glad that I have his contact information!” Casey Williams, Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Simmons Island Beach, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

An afternoon of summertime fun and relaxation for Illinois residents, Brian and Stephanie Barsotti and daughter, Isabella, ended suddenly when Stephanie’s custom-designed, platinum wedding ring was knocked off her finger by a tennis ball. The ring subsequently disappeared into the waters of Lake Michigan.

The loss was made all the more gut wrenching since Stephanie’s Great Aunt Rita, who passed away four years ago, had gifted the emerald-cut diamond to her for her engagement. Now it seemed to be gone forever.

A sleepless, emotional night ensued. The pain of loss was acute; the ring was one of the most precious “things” Stephanie treasured. Brian had created the setting fourteen and half years ago. The couple was already planning their upcoming 15th wedding anniversary. This, and the sentimental attachment to Stephanie’s Great Aunt, made the loss almost unbearable for Stephanie.

In an email to her Facebook friends, Stephanie wrote of her loss, “Maybe it’ll wash up in a week or a year or 5 years from now and someone else will enjoy my treasure. Maybe some kind person will come across my beautiful ring and want to help find who it belongs to.”

Reaching out to her friends paid off! One of them pointed Brian and Stephanie to the “kind” people listed on The Ring Finders directory of metal-detecting specialists.

I received an email from Stephanie followed by a phone call the following afternoon. Would I help? Within a few hours I made the hour and a quarter drive to Kenosha, Wisconsin and met up with the Barsotti family on location at Simmons Island Beach. After an hour of searching with my Minelab Excalibur, the precious ring found its way into my sieve. I waded back to the shore and after making pretense of needing more information I presented Stephanie with her stunning ring. Needless to say, the family was ecstatic! Hugs ensued. More hugs ensued. And did I mention that more hugs ensued! Got to love this hobby! 🙂

Brian and Stephanie, may the story of your ring, and all its treasurable memories, continue for many years to come. Thank you too for your generous reward.

If you know someone who has lost a ring or other sentimental jewelry item, chances are it is still there, waiting to be found. Contact a member of The Ring Finders near you. Who knows, you might find yourself hugging a total stranger!

TESTIMONIAL: Right before school started we decided to take a drive to Simmons Island Beach in Kenosha, WI. My husband, daughter and I enjoyed 2.5 hours in the water and sun until our game of monkey in the middle turned into a nightmare. The tennis ball hit my ring finger in such a way that my wedding ring popped off and landed in Lake Michigan. My heart sunk as we searched, the sand moving between our toes, and we came up empty handed. After hours of tears and not being able to sleep I took to social media and made a public post. Some kind folks suggested we contact The Ring Finders, which lead us to Paul Humphreys. Paul met us on a moments notice where I lost my precious ring. With his equipment and big heart he combed the waters for nearly 90 minutes and just when I thought he was calling it quits, he produced my ring in his angel-like hand. My nightmare turned miracle! I am forever grateful to Paul and hope my story trickles out there so others know about this heartfelt service he and The Ring Finders are doing for folks who lose their precious treasures.” Stephanie Barsotti

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Kohler-Andrae State Park, WI.

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Stevens Point residents, Allen and Debbie Baker, were camping at Wisconsin’s Kohler-Andrae State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan August 12. Allen set his heavy tungsten wedding ring on a towel for safe keeping on the beach while he was swimming. But as they left and the towel was gathered up with the rest of the Baker’s belongings, the ring was inadvertently sent flying into the dry sand. Despite their best search efforts, the love token eluded discovery.

Debbie contacted me on The Ring Finder’s directory of metal-detecting specialists. After an hour’s drive, we met on location just as the sun was setting and I prepared to search the area where they had spent their afternoon together.

It didn’t take long for a strong signal to register in my headphones and a quick recovery followed. One wedding ring—reunited with its owner! Mission accomplished!

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Mequon, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Andre Bilak, of Mequon, WI, was installing a vapor barrier in a crawl space when his wedding ring went missing. In his own words, “I was hand shoveling pea gravel… and after several hours of moving and replacing pea gravel I noticed I no longer had my wedding ring.”

It didn’t take me long to detect the area in question. I was 99.9% sure the ring was not where Andre thought it was. In questioning Andre further, he mentioned cleaning paint from his hands near a garden shed behind his house. I asked him to take me there. Sure enough, there lay his ring in the grass where it had fallen in front of the shed.

This is a case where forensic questioning paid off. A timeline of activities helps to narrow the search areas and led to investigation of an area Andre had not thought about.

So glad we were successful, Andre!

Key Ring Found and Returned! Elm Grove, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)


This is a ring find of a different sort. Let me explain.

I’ve been a metal-detecting enthusiast since 1976. You could say I have developed a keen ‘eye’ for lost jewelry items, sometimes spotting missing rings in advance of my metal detector’s coil. When this happens it creates a conundrum. Does it count as a legitimate find since my eyes saw the target first and not my detector? There are metal-detecting purists out there who might cry fowl at the thought. But hear me out.

Harnessing electronic wizardry with the intent to peer into the realm of the unseen and to ferret out hidden treasures from their hiding places is what makes metal detecting such a delightful hobby. Whether a search is on land, in snow, in lakes or in pounding ocean surfs, the first glimmer of gold causes one’s heart to skip a beat. But there is another thrill that takes this hobby to a whole different level, a higher level if you please—e.g., returning lost items to their owners! At its core, this is what makes The Ring Finders such a unique service.

A case in point is my latest ‘ring’ find.

Last night my metal-detecting eyes spied a fully loaded key ring splayed out on the road in the middle of a busy intersection in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. I thought to myself, “Someone is surely going to panic when they discover all those keys missing! I’d sure hate to be in their shoes.” Then my Ring Finder instincts kicked in. I managed to get my vehicle off to the side of the road and then when it was safe, I darted out into the intersection, grabbed the key ring and scrambled back to my car with my treasure in hand… and my body intact.

Upon closer examination, the only piece identification I could see was a small bar-coded rewards tag from the automotive parts company, O’Reilly’s. So I went online, found a local O’Reilly’s store and rang its office. ‘Joe,’ answered. When I explained my strange circumstances he asked for the tag number, promising he would telephone the owner. Unfortunately the phone listing was no longer in service. But there was one remaining hope; Joe texted me the owner’s name and email address connected to the tag. I took a photo of the key ring and emailed it to one, Chris Paulino and waited for a response. I didn’t have to wait long.

My cell phone rang about five minutes later. It was Chris. And yes, he was the surprised but overjoyed owner! We arranged to meet the next morning at construction site where he worked. There the key ring with all its keys and O’Reilly Rewards tag was safely returned. Mission accomplished!

You know, whether the lost keys were detected by a machine or by keen eyes, the end result was the return of a precious item to its rightful owner. In my book of smiles, the recovery and return of this ring of keys is at least deserving of an honorable mention. And kudos to a very cooperative Joe at O’Reilly’s; his help made all the difference.

Thanks Joe.

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Wales, Wisconsin

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Frisbee golf is a popular sporting activity here in Wisconsin. On Monday, July 16th, Waukesha resident, Paul Rottmann, and a friend were engaged in the game at the Wales Community Park when a cricket suddenly landed on Paul’s leg. He instinctively swatted at the intruder sending his tungsten wedding ring flying. After a lengthy search, even with the help of a metal detector, the ring remained at large. I received a phone call from Paul asking if I might bring my 45-plus years metal detecting experience to assist.

I arranged to meet Paul on location the next evening and quickly set up a grid search. It included a heavily weeded ravine. After two hours, a promising signal beckoned investigation and there in the thick foliage, Paul’s ring came to light. I called Paul over and handed him my headphones and XP Deus probe. Guiding his hand in the general area where I knew his ring lay, he soon heard the signal and began to comb through the grass with his fingers. It didn’t take long for him to lift the ring up out of its hiding place!

Thanks, Paul, for the opportunity to search for and to find your ring! May its story continue for many happy years.

TESTIMONIAL: Paul is truly a remarkable find. He shows a great passion in helping you recover your lost treasure and I would not hesitate to call him again should the need arise. Paul Rottmann – Waukesha, WI

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Cedar Grove, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

When it comes to rings, the North American Great Lakes rank high as ring-eating monsters. And Lake Michigan gulped down yet another precious love token the week of June 24th when Petersburg, Illinois, residents Joe and Alissa Bilyeu were vacationing at Amsterdam Park near Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.

Somewhere during the construction of a sandcastle, Joe’s platinum wedding ring was slurped off his hand into the abyss of sand and water. A frantic search proved fruitless. The couple departed for home with heavy hearts at having lost the precious token of their recent marriage.

I received a text message from Joe asking if I might conduct a search. My work schedule prevented doing so immediately; the soonest I could make the 63 mile drive from my home in Waukesha to Cedar Grove was late on Friday. My wife, Kathleen, came along for the ride. Upon arrival at Amsterdam Park, Lake Michigan was pounding the shoreline with waves approaching 3’ high. Only faint traces of Bilyeu’s sand castle remained. The throbbing deluge had nearly obliterated all signs of it.

First I checked the shoreline dry sand. Then I switched machines and bracing myself against the waves I began searching the lake bottom with my trusty Minelab Excalibur SCUBA detector. After nearly an hour working against the punishing rollers a faint signal in chest-deep water invited excavation. But the wave action quickly filled the hole making it necessary to work quickly to gain on the target. At last, the Lake Michigan Monster was forced to relinquish its treasure; Joe’s platinum ring lay safe in my sieve.

I quickly texted a photo to Joe in Illinois. His response? “Holy Cow that’s it!! OMG thank you so much!!” And arrangements were made to send the ring back to its happy owner.

Thanks, Joe, for the awesome privilege of retrieving your ring. It’s just one more ring the Lake Michigan Ring Monster won’t get to digest. May your ring’s story continue for many, many happy years together.

Heirloom Ring Found! Oak Creek, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

On Sunday afternoon, Cedarburg, Wisconsin resident Jessica Rauh was visiting friends in Oak Creek. A benign game of volleyball turned into an all-out search-and-rescue operation when Jessica’s gold heirloom ring slipped off her finger, vanishing in the grass. Despite the best search efforts, the ring eluded recovery. That’s when Jessica found me on The Ring Finders Directory and telephoned. Would I help?

Within minutes I was on the way. Upon arrival, Jessica led me to an area under the volleyball net—marked off by sandbags. It didn’t take very long to pick up the telltale signal of gold and I plucked the ring up from its hiding place.

Jessica, I’m so glad you have your precious ring back on your hand! May its story continue for many years to come.

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Oshkosh, Wisconsin

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)


Early Friday evening, Amanda Nachtwey and her husband were visiting friends at the Ford Festival Camp Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, home of Country USA’s annual music festival. As they were walking along Amanda felt her loose-fitting wedding ring slip off her finger. It vanished somewhere into the sodden grass, mud and puddles along the roadway, the result of earlier heavy rains. Despite searching feverishly for nearly three hours, the ring seemed lost forever.

Having searched for and successfully recovered a ring for another client two years ago at the same Festival Campground, when Amanda notified Security of her loss, she was given my contact number at The Ring Finders. It was about 9:00 at night when I received a call from Amanda. Would I come right away? I made the 80-mile trip and was met by a security guard at the camp entrance who marshaled my clearance and transport to the site.

For all you metal-detecting buffs out there, I chose to use a state-of-the-art XP Deus wireless detector and probe. It has become my machine of choice for high-trash areas. And the wireless probe was invaluable.

I extracted several pieces of aluminum, some bits of foil and a pull-tab from the muck and water. Amanda hovered close by with a flashlight in hand and so I handed each of these metallic bits to her to keep as “souvenirs.” At last, I felt the ring in my fingers and sloshed it about in the puddle to remove the mud. Then I placed her husband’s love token in her hand saying, “And here is another souvenir for you!” Tears and hugs followed!

Amanda, may your ring continue its story for many, many happy years!

TESTIMONY: “We are so thankful for you taking your time on a Friday night to get us our ring back!… We are so blessed and thankful for the services you provide!” Amanda Nachtwey – Oshkosh, WI