Lost Tantalum Wedding Ring Found - Germantown, WI

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)


Newly-married, Germantown resident, Gary Tanker, finished cutting his grass and was washing up at his kitchen sink when he realized his tantalum wedding band was missing! Wikipedia describes tantalum as “a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion-resistant.” Only very recently has this metal been used for making jewelry. Despite my nearly 40+ years experience, this was my first search for a ring made from this rare metal; I was unsure just where on the conductivity scale my XP Deus detector would register tantalum. In addition, Gary’s home sat on a half-acre lot—where would we begin?

Gary had spent every spare moment on his knees combing through the grass and leaves. He even used a simple metal detector acquired and used as a child—all without success; the ground, to his dismay, was full of metal! It was then he discovered The Ring Finders Internet directory of metal-detecting specialists and reached out to me. I was out of the country at the time but we arranged to meet soon after my arrival home.

When I finally pulled up at the Tanker residence, the sun had fully set. Temperatures were plummeting and strong winter-like winds bit through our clothes. With flashlights in hand we began a systematic search. Metal detecting, in its simplest form is a process of eliminating where the lost item is not. And in the case of a wedding ring, this involves eliminating one square inch at a time.

After nearly two hours we moved our search to the rear of the house where I remembered Gary explaining how he had brushed aside low branches of an apple tree while operating his lawn tractor. It made sense to first check out where those branches may have caught his ring. It was the right decision. Within moments a pronounced signal in the high sliver range registered on my detector. The clear outline of Gary’s ring became visible after sweeping away some grass and leaves. I gave Gary the thrill of extracting his ring from where it lay pressed deeply into the ground.

So glad for the opportunity to help recover your tantalum ring, Gary!


2 Replies to “Lost Tantalum Wedding Ring Found – Germantown, WI”

  1. Gary T. says:

    Thanks again!

  2. Mike McInroe says:

    Way to go Paul!! Glad you were able to find that one in the cold and in the dark! And it sounded off like silver? Good to know.
    Mike McInroe

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