Paul Humphreys, Author at The Ring Finders

Unique Wedding Ring Found – Greendale, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Greendale, Wisconsin resident, Nick Galante, was moving furniture with his son on February 10, 2018 when his one-of-a-kind wedding ring went missing. There was a lot of snow covering the ground as well as on the rented U-Haul truck. Nick was putting his gloves on and taking them off as he worked to clear the vehicle and so was concerned that his ring may have slipped off his finger in the process.

I received an email from Nick late that same evening but since I was away on business in Canada I was not able to conduct a search until nearly two weeks later on February 22nd. The ring could have been lost at any one of three locations where the truck had been loaded and unloaded. There was little hope it could be found.

Nick’s loss was acute. The heavy 14k yellow gold wedding ring encapsulated a ½ Real Spanish silver coin dated 1783. The coin was one of many retrieved from the wrecked Spanish ship, El Cazador, which sank in the Gulf of Mexico in January 1784 after it was overcome by a winter storm. The ring’s uniqueness coupled with its sentimental value made the ring irreplaceable.

I intended to follow Nick’s truck route and eliminate each location beginning with the U-Haul pick up center. Amazingly, it was there that the ring, obviously flattened by a vehicle’s tire, came to light where it had been crushed into a crack in the pavement.

Still, Nick was thrilled to have his cherished wedding token back again. He hopes an experienced jeweler might be able to restore the heirloom; if so, the coin will have yet another chapter to add to its illustrious history. I’m so glad to have found your ring, Nick, even in its damaged state. Here’s hoping it can be fully restored. If so, I look forward to posting a follow up photo.

Lost Engagement Ring Found! Greenfield, Wisconsin

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

In the wee small hours of December 18th, Lindsey Ernisse’s gorgeous engagement ring went missing in the vicinity of a busy apartment complex in Greenfield, Wisconsin. She and her fiancé, Michael Perry, searched and searched in the darkness. They scoured the driveway between the parking area and the entrances to the building but without success. The next morning, even with the help of a rented metal detector, the ring remained in its hiding place. The detector only emitted a cacophony of squawks and chirps; proof that the ground was full of all manner of metallic material. It seemed certain Lindsey would never see her ring again.

A search on the Internet turned up my profile on The Ring Finder’s website. I learned of the loss when I received an email from Lindsey asking if I might help. We arranged to meet on location that same afternoon.

For nearly four hours I searched the probable locations until late in the evening. When it became dark, I used a headlamp and a metal-detecting probe to scour the shrubs and bushes. The next morning I returned to the site and continued searching an area well beyond where the ring was thought to be lost. I sent Lindsey a text message telling her to keep her fingers and her toes crossed and not to lose hope.

After a couple hours I heard a wisp of a signal in my headphones. The tone was consistent with that of 14-Karat gold. And so I investigated. When I parted the grass, a glimpse of a silver loop appeared and my first thought was that someone had lost an earring. But when I lifted it from the turf, diamonds appeared. There was no mistaking it; it was Lindsey’s ring!

I’m so glad I was able to find your engagement ring, Lindsey! May its story continue for many, many happy years to come. And thank you for your generous reward!

If you, or someone you know, lost a ring or some other item of jewelry, give me a call. I have been detecting since 1976 and would love to put my experience and equipment to work finding your lost item. Even if it went missing years ago, chances are, it may still be right where it was lost waiting to be discovered.

Lost Platinum Wedding Ring Found – Elkhart Lake, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Nick Mitrani was visiting in Wisconsin from Long Island, New York, when his platinum wedding ring went missing. It happened while doing some geocaching around Road America, an internationally acclaimed motorsports complex and one of America’s longest road racing circuits. Located in the picturesque rolling, wooded hills of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine district, Road America is also home to geocaching adventures, a technology-driven scavenger hunt of sorts using a GPS (Global Positioning System).

Nick had stopped at several historical roadside markers when he realized the ring was no longer on his hand. Despite renting a metal detector and returning to the locations where he had stopped, the ring eluded his best search efforts. It was nowhere to be found.

I received a text message from Nick the next day asking if I might help. We arranged to meet early the next morning. After an hour and half drive I arrived at the prearranged location just as the sun was making it’s appearance in a clear sky over Lake Michigan. A heavy frost nipped at our bare fingers and weighed down the fallen leaves and bent the tall grass.

After checking two of the geocaching locations, we were well into searching the third when a promising signal in the thick, ice-laden grass invited further investigation. It was Nick’s ring!

It takes a GPS in the hands of a skilled user to search for and locate caches. But it takes a metal detector in the hands of an experienced user to search for and locate missing rings. If you have lost a ring or some other sentimental jewelry item, contact a member of The Ring Finders today. Even if your property was lost a long time ago, chances are it can still be found.

Thanks, Nick, for the opportunity to hunt for and find your ring.

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Oak Creek, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

A young Michigan couple, Ryan and Jess Knapp, were visiting in Wisconsin and enjoying an evening’s fun with their son, West, at Oak Creek Parkway Park. But then Ryan’s black tungsten wedding ring disappeared. A thick bed of woodchips in the playground seemed the logical place to search. Ryan looked late into the night using the flashlight on his cellphone but his efforts proved futile.

Early the following morning I received a text from Ryan asking if I might assist. We arranged to meet at the park that afternoon. I arrived an hour earlier than anticipated and so began a systematic search of the kid’s playground area using an XP Deus wireless metal detector and probe. Initially, the usual coins, pull-tabs and foil were all that turned up. However, just before Ryan and Jess arrived, a signal from underneath the playground’s monkey bars invited further investigation—it was Ryan’s wedding ring!

For me, the best part of any search is the moment when I get to hand a ring back to its owner. The smiles tell the rest of the story!

If you or someone you know has lost a ring or other sentimental jewelry item there is a good chance it can still be found. Whether on land, in water or snow, don’t lose hope! Even rings that have been lost for many years are no match for today’s technology, experience and kindness.

Wedding Ring Found! – Lake Beulah, Mukwonago, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Jumping off boat docks runs a very high risk of removing rings from one’s fingers. I mean one moment the ring is there snug and happy on your finger and the next thing you know, slurp, the lake monster sucks it off and swallows it whole. It’s not fair!

There ought to be warning signs posted on piers to warn would-be-jumpers about this potential hazard. Maybe such signage would have prevented Milwaukee resident, Juan Garcia, from jumping and losing his beautifully crafted 14K white-gold wedding band to the ring-slurping, ring-swallowing monster of Lake Beulah, near Mukwonago, WI.

Juan contacted me the other day to inquire if I might search for his ring. The nature of the search required that no discrimination be used on my Minelab Excalibur detector and so I was prepared for the usual accumulation of ferrous metal that tends to accumulate around boat docks like flies on a carcass. We are talking steel washers, screws, nails, bolts, wire, tools, etc. And I was not disappointed. Eventually, however, Juan’s ring appeared in my scoop! One very relieved owner couldn’t get it back on his finger fast enough! A good sign, I thought to myself, that all’s good at home.

Thanks, Juan, for the privilege of searching for and finding your ring. So glad we were able to get Lake Beulah to cough it up for you. Thanks too for your generous reward.

And so the moral of this story if there is one, is this. Be sure to read the warning signs that are absent from boat docks before you jump off them. Just imagine they exist. They read, “Jumping off this dock with rings on your fingers may be hazardous to your marriage;” or something along that line. But if you or someone you know just didn’t see the sign, contact me. We might be able to coax the ring-swallowing lake monster to burp it up.

TESTIMONY

Thank you Paul again for your service. I have been married for 14yrs now. I was devastated when I lost my wedding ring and it was hard to think about living life without my original wedding ring. Now I can pass my original wedding ring onto my boys. Thanks again. God bless. — Juan Garcia

Wedding Ring Found! – Williams Bay, Lake Geneva, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

It is too bad Golden Retrievers don’t retrieve gold, gold rings that is. If they did, then Chicago resident, Adam Katz, wouldn’t have called me.

Adam jumped off the family’s boat pier into Lake Geneva the other day to join his Golden Retriever in a short swim back to shore. When the pair emerged, Mr. Katz’s rose-gold and platinum wedding ring was missing.

I arrived on location and first assessed the depth. While the water was over my head in some places, the search was do-able with snorkel and mask and with the help of a weighted dive belt. It also helped that the water was unusually clear that day.

In the next four hours I extracted an assortment of fishing lures from the lake bottom and twice untangled myself, and my detector, from yards of abandoned fishing-line. A pair of trophy-sized Large-mouthed Bass visited me on several occasions; they seemed to be smirking whilst I dealt with the evidence of fishermen whose valiant attempts to catch them had clearly been foiled. But finally it was my turn to smirk.

Adam’s ring came to light from its hiding place among one of the many clusters of aquatic plants. “Aha! Caught you!” If you had been on shore you would have heard those words trumpeted from my snorkel.

Thanks, Adam, for the privilege of searching for and finding your gorgeous ring. Thanks too for your generous reward. I also enjoyed meeting your beautiful canine swimming partner.

I’ve been thinking; maybe there’s a way to train Golden Retrievers to fetch gold rings; now wouldn’t that be something! In the meantime, if someone you know has lost a ring give me a call. For them at least, I might become their golden retriever!

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

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

A mix of sand, water and waves is notorious for making rings and jewelry vanish.

Last Saturday, Elmhurst, Illinois resident, Joe Reiff, saw his platinum wedding band leave his hand after he threw a Nerf football while standing knee deep in Lake Michigan. The ring tumbled out of sight into the churning shore waters. Despite his immediate rescue efforts and those of his friends, Dan’s marriage-token seemed destined to remain one with nature, forever hidden from the light of day.

After Joe contacted me, we arranged to meet at the beach a couple days later. The waves were unusually high. This added to the recovery challenge since gold and platinum tend to keep settling with the wave and sand movement. After an hour or so, I picked up a faint signal in the headset of my Minelab Excalibur detector. But the more I dug, the weaker the signal became as mounds of sand carried by the waves filled in the hole before I could get my scoop back in. If I was going to catch up with the target, it meant working faster. Sure enough, at the 20-inch marker on my scoop handle, the huge hole became quiet. This meant the object, whatever it was, had to be in my scoop. When I lifted it out of the waves and looked, there was Joe’s ring!

It is not often that our oceans and Great Lakes of North America give up their treasures. But this one was no match for technology and perseverance. Even after 40 plus years of metal detecting, it never ceases to amaze me that any rings are recovered. After all, a ring is a very small bit of metal and these bodies of water, immense!

Thanks, Joe, for giving me the opportunity to recover your ring. And thanks for your generous reward.

If someone you know has lost a ring, give me a call. You never know; even Lake Michigan gives up its treasures sometimes!

Wedding Ring Found! – Mauthe Lake, Kewaskum, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

I have it on good authority that spinning a child on an inner tube in the water can be great fun, but fatal for wedding rings.

A family outing at the Mauthe Lake Recreation Area, near Kewaskum, WI ended on a terribly disappointing note when Germantown, WI, resident Dan Koslo’s tungsten and gold wedding band disappeared. It happened in the park’s swimming area while playing with his children. The sickening feeling in the pit of one’s stomach whenever this happens is one shared by an estimated 60% of married men who, I’ve learned, will lose their wedding rings at some time or another. That seems like an extreme statistic. But even if it’s only half true, it still amounts to a LOT of wedding rings! And that doesn’t include all the other kinds of rings that are lost.

When Dan reached out to me for help, it was first necessary to obtain permission from Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use a metal detector in the State Park. DNR Ranger, Megan Sina, kindly assisted with getting a Metal Detector User Permit.

Heavy dark clouds were threatening to dump their rain when I arrived at the beachfront. Dan joined me shortly. I set up a grid pattern using homemade buoys and began systematically scanning the lake bottom in the vicinity of where the ring went missing. The presence of iron in spring-fed Mauthe Lake elicited a cacophony of chirps and barks from my Minelab Excalibur detector, but these were not the sounds I wanted to hear.

At last, a promising clean, bright signal in my headset invited further investigation. Raising my stainless-steel sand scoop up out of the water to the light of day revealed the desired target! A glad reunion commenced just as torrents of rain let loose. It was as though nature was joining us in the happy recovery, applauding it with deafening claps of rain on the lake’s surface. But I couldn’t help but notice a drop of another kind, one that glistened ever so discreetly in a corner of Dan’s eye.

I’ve observed this phenomenon before, pondering how an inanimate object can evoke such deep emotion. I believe the response has to do with memories, with experiences and associations with the object—a shared history. The capacity for such emotional attachment to the inanimate is just one more example of how humankind is uniquely set apart from the animal world. But that is another story.

Thanks Dan, for the privilege of searching for and returning your precious ring. May its story continue (on your hand) and become increasingly precious to you for many, many years to come!

If you, the reader, have lost a ring, don’t give up hope; it may still be right where it was dropped, or should I say, right where you may have spun your children or grandchildren on an inner tube in some lake. Even if your ring was lost many years ago, contact myself or another member of The Ring Finders. Who knows, yours could be the next smile on these happy blog pages!

TESTIMONY
Hello Paul! I want to thank you again for your quick response, experience and confidence in the recovery of my ring at Mauthe Lake! Within the first few minutes of our conversation on the phone I knew you were the person I needed! I am blessed to have found someone so passionate like you in what you do! I wish you could have seen my wife’s expression when i arrived home with my ring! To say you made one very happy bride again would be an understatement! Thank you so very much Paul! I will never forget! — Dan Koslo

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Lake Geneva, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

A football toss in the deep end of the swimming area near Big Foot Beach State Park on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, proved fatal for Josh Johnson’s titanium wedding ring. He felt it leave his hand but was helpless to grab it before it slipped beneath the lake’s surface. The water’s visibility was poor which made recovery next to impossible. A resident of Chicago, Josh had to leave for home the next day minus the ring on his finger. He despaired at the thought of it being lost forever. That’s when he discovered the ring finder’s directory of metal-detecting specialists online.

I received an email from Josh asking if I might do a search. Arriving at the location very early in the morning on the following Tuesday, I began a methodical search in the 5-foot deep swimming area. Just about an hour later, I heard the telltale pitch of titanium in my waterproof headphones. As the water filtered out of the sand scoop, Josh’s ring appeared as if greatly relieved to see the light of day once again.

When I arrived home, I carefully wrapped the ring in a padded envelope and mailed it on its way to one very relieved owner.

Mission accomplished! Josh, I’m so glad for the opportunity to find and return your ring. May its story continue for many years.

TESTIMONIAL

“Paul was a life saver! When I felt the ring come off my hand in the lake, I thought for sure it was gone forever. After my friends and I searched for over an hour as best we could in the sand below and came up empty, I had no hopes of ever finding my ring again. I count my lucky stars that I found Paul and within an hour after sending him an email, he had his plans in place to find my ring. In less than 24 hours, my ring was recovered and I breathed a huge sigh of relief! I live in Chicago, so Paul even went the extra mile to carefully ship my ring back to me, after traveling to Lake Geneva and gearing up to go underwater to help locate my missing ring. I can’t say enough how great this whole experience was…well, I mean…losing the ring in the first place wasn’t great, but Paul sure was! 🙂 Thanks again Paul!!”

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Lake Winnebago, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

A game of tackle football in knee-deep water ended on a down note when Oshkosh Wisconsin resident, Chandler, came up without his wedding ring. Everybody began searching but only a few coins were found; the ring had vanished. Compared to Lake Winnebago’s 215 square miles, a man’s wedding band is a small item indeed. A couple days later I received an email from Brooke, Chandler’s wife, asking if I would be willing to conduct a search. I agreed to drive up on Friday afternoon, an hour and a half from where I live in Waukesha.

Upon arrival I was warmly greeted by ‘Goose’, Chandler’s Italian Spinone. The centuries-old breed is renown for its bird-hunting prowess and for having human-like eyes that seemingly search deep into the crevices of one’s soul. Too bad he wasn’t trained to sniff out rings in water, I mused.

Chandler had his boat ready and so we soon arrived at the sandy shore where he thought the ring went missing. We searched for about 3 hours but were forced to abandon our efforts when a storm suddenly loomed threateningly on the horizon. We boated for cover even as the winds began churning the surface of Wisconsin’s largest inland lake.

A couple days later, on Sunday, July 23rd, my wife, Kathleen, and I headed northward once again to finish the search. I received kind permission to access the lake from ‘John’ the landowner whose house backed onto to the shore where Chandler’s ring was believed to be lost. John was most gracious!

After about 3 hours of scanning the sandy lake bottom the signal I was looking for showed up on my XP Deus detector. Moments later I extracted Chadler’s ring from a mass of zebra mussel shells in my scoop. The smile on the faces of Chandler and Brooke tell the rest of the story!

TESTIMONY:

“My husband and I are beyond thrilled with Paul Humphrey’s dedicated search to finding my husband’s wedding band in Lake Winnebago. Paul went above and beyond our expectations, coming back a second time to scour the area that he wasn’t able to search the first time around. As far as customer service goes, Paul gets our highest accolades. Thank you again Paul for generously donating your time to find my husband’s wedding band!” Brooke – Oshkosh, WI