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.