The Ring Finders
Metal Detecting Service Inc.

Metal Detecting Service Inc.

Diamond Engagement Ring Found in James River, Buchanan, Virginia


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Another ring recovered and returned to its rightful owner! This was written by the lady shown above, who originally lost the ring:

I lost my diamond engagement ring on Saturday, June 13, 2015 in the James River located in Buchanan, Virginia. I had traveled to Virginia from my home in Ohio to spend the weekend there with my sister’s family, who made the trip to Virginia from their home in North Carolina. It was supposed to be a relaxing weekend for my husband, my young son and I, a time to enjoy the scenery of Virginia as well as a time to spend with my sister’s family. One of the activities that we planned was a peaceful canoe trip down the James River.

Soon after launching our canoe into the river, my husband, my son, and I found ourselves in a predicament. We had decided to wait for my sister’s family to launch their canoe and, as we let our canoe slowly drift towards the center of the river, we were caught in a fairly rapid current that pushed us towards a concrete bridge pillar around which the river rapidly swirled. Our canoe was suddenly pushed up against the pillar and our boat flipped over.

We were able to quickly recover from the spill. After our boat flipped, my husband grabbed my son and I was able to hold onto the canoe, keeping it from going down the river. In a few moments, we were back on the canoe, disheveled and soaking wet, and trying to console our frightened son. Some of the other boaters that day politely paddled up to us, returning our hats and paddle, which had floated around the concrete pillar and started making their way down the river.

It was a bad experience to be soaking wet and face the natural embarrassment of flipping our canoe in front of several other boaters. And it was difficult to assure our young son that the boat would not flip over again. But, even after the crash, I think we still felt that we would be able to enjoy the rest of our 5-mile trip down the river.

That was, of course, prior to the moment about halfway down the river when I looked at my hand and realized that my diamond engagement ring was missing. Because canoeing was not a regular activity of ours and because, of course, we had no fear of actually flipping our canoe, it had not crossed my mind to take my rings off before our trip down the river. I was horrified to realize that my diamond engagement ring was not only at the bottom of a river, but somewhere in an area where the water rapidly swirled around a concrete pillar.

The rest of the canoe trip was anything but pleasant. My husband and I had celebrated our 17th anniversary in 2015 and, for 17 years, that engagement ring was a tangible reminder of the days God had brought us together.

After our canoe trip ended, we drove back to the trip’s starting point and began a frantic search. While the area directly downstream from the concrete pillar was an area one could stand in and search, the area directly around the pillar was too rapid and too deep. It did not take an extensively long search for us to realize that we were not likely to find the ring without help. I cried some at that point, realizing that the ring was most likely gone forever.

My husband was not ready to give up. After we arrived back home in Ohio, he started investigating metal detectors. The price of underwater metal detectors combined with his unfamiliarity with that type of equipment was discouraging to say the least. We did not know anyone who owned a metal detector and he took several weeks continuing to consider and investigate other options.

In one of my husband’s internet searches, he came across He checked the list of contacts in the state of Virginia and located the one closest to the river where we had lost the ring. That contact was Richard Williams.

My husband called Mr. Williams and brought him up to speed on our situation. Mr. Williams was understanding about the sentimentality we had for the ring and was fairly confident in our chances of finding it. We agreed to set up a convenient time to meet at the river and that meeting date ended up being Saturday, August 1st.

Our trip to Virginia that weekend was hopeful. While we were in no way certain we would find the ring, we were at least more at peace because we felt we were doing everything we could to try and find it. Our prayer was, of course, that the Lord would help us locate the ring and, if that was not His will, that He would give us the peace to deal with the fact that it was gone.

After staying in a hotel on Friday night, we met up with Mr. Williams the next morning. For several hours, Mr. Williams and my husband searched the river, locating a quarter, a penny, and some other metal objects, but no ring. They felt they had covered the areas of the river where the current may have taken the ring downstream, but both agreed the areas around the concrete pillar could only be searched by a professional diver.

At the conclusion of the discouraging search, Mr. Williams mentioned that he knew a few individuals capable of performing the diving necessary to search the rapid and deep areas around pillar. He said he would contact them and see if they would be willing to assist in a search.

We returned home fairly certain that the ring was gone. Mr. Williams and my husband had covered the areas where the ring may have been swept downstream. And it seemed very unlikely anything as small as a ring could be located in the dangerous and deep area around the pillar where we crashed. We were at peace because we had at least made the attempt to find the ring.

A few weeks later, Mr. Williams contacted my husband again, saying that he and his diver contact were planning on doing a search on Friday, August 21st. It was another small glimmer of hope for us to find the ring, but it really felt like more of a means of closure to the situation. Our perspective was that, once Mr. Williams and the diver had at least attempted to search the difficult area, we could move on with the purchase of a new ring, understanding that it had been lost in an area where it could not be recovered.

When August 21st arrived, the search had to be rescheduled because of an issue that came up with the diver. The search was rescheduled to Thursday, August 27th, over ten weeks after the ring had been lost.

On the day of the search, my husband and I had forgotten that the search was happening. After my husband finished his day at work, he drove out to a local park where I met him with my son for my son’s flag football practice. After the practice was over, my son rode in the car with my husband and I followed behind in my car. We were on our way to a restaurant to pick up some dinner.

I did not know it at the time, but during that drive to the restaurant, Mr. Williams called my husband’s cell phone. He told my husband that he was going to send him a text message and wanted him to check it immediately. What Mr. Williams sent to my husband’s cell phone was a picture.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I turned off my car and stared gathering up my purse and keys to take into the restaurant. When I opened the car door, my young son was standing there holding up my husband’s cell phone.

“I have something to show you, Mommy,” he said.

The image on my husband’s cell phone was my engagement ring.

I called Mr. Williams right away to confirm that the ring was indeed mine. Mr. Williams told me that the diver had located the ring on an expanse of rock in the area around the concrete pillar. It was not hidden among other debris or in the depths of a deep hole. It had settled in an open area of rock and was visible when the diver went under the water.

We are very thankful to have the ring back. We are thankful for Mr. Williams’ efforts and to website. It is a great service to individuals who have lost very important, sentimental items. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Stephanie S.
Miamisburg, Ohio

One Response to “Diamond Engagement Ring Found in James River, Buchanan, Virginia”

  1. God answers prayer! My diver friend found the ring as he snorkeled along the bridge abutment after less than one minute in the water searching!

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