Rob Ellis, Author at The Ring Finders

Lost Wedding Band Found Under Porch, Falls Church Virginia

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

April 16th, 2020. During the Wuhan virus pandemic.

Andrew emailed me asking for help to find a ring, not for himself, but for his friend Hazel. In January, Hazel was sitting on the front porch when her ring slipped from her hand and hit the wood deck. They were not sure if the ring rolled off into some bushes or slipped in between the boards. Andrew knew in his heart that the ring was there and it could be found. He had looked through the openings of the deck and around the bushes with a powerful light, but no luck.

When I arrived, I met Andrew and Mike.

Front of the House

Hoping the ring rolled or bounced off the low deck, I searched the bushes thoroughly with my AT Max. I found the usual hidden trash, but no ring. I then concentrated my search under the deck.





There were only a few inches of space to work. I detached my shaft and reached under the deck with my sniper coil. I borrowed a leaf rake from Mike as the one I brought was too large to fit under the deck. I heard targets and raked them out, then used my pinpointer to scan the debris.

Tight Access Under the Porch

It was then I had the pleasure of meeting Hazel. She remembered precisely how the ring sounded when it rolled on the wooden deck. From her description, I redoubled my efforts to search farther under the deck.







I stretched my arm and extended the coil to the limit when I heard a promising target. Mentally marking the spot, I used the leaf rake and pulled out more debris. I waved the pinpointer over the dirt and leaves and dug down to find the ring!


Andrew’s determination to help his friend resulted in a happy ending!




Lost Cell Phone Found After Fire, Fredericksburg, VA

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

April 20th, 2020. During the Wuhan virus pandemic. John called me to help find his lost phone. A few days prior, there was a fire in the wooded area behind his house.

What the fire looked like.


John assumed his phone fell out of his pocket while he was extinguishing the flames. To complicate the search area, the woods are bordered by a lake and the phone could have fallen into the water. The phone is precious to John because it contains many photos and passwords. He and his family searched through the ash for many hours, with no luck.

I packed up all the tools for land and shallow water detecting, and made the hour long drive. When I arrived, I put on my boots and followed John as he showed me the search area. As we were walking through the blackened trees and ash, I saw the phone next to my foot. I picked it up and handed it to John and asked, “Does you phone look like this?”






As you can imagine, John was in disbelief, and then elated. He couldn’t believe he had just walked past it. We went back up to his house and I could clearly hear his wife scream with delight. Although several people had searched the burnt ground for many hours, nobody else saw the phone. To me, the phone really stood out. I have a strong red/green color blindness. So, I have always seen things differently than most people. That may be why I saw the phone when others did not.







Lost Gold Wedding Ring Re-recovered Vienna, VA

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

March 30th, 2020. Matt again called to report he’s lost his ring. He was doing some habitual, unplanned weeding in the yard when he realized too late that he forgot to remove the ring. After searching for about 30 minutes I found the ring at the base of some liriope grass. It was barely visible in the dry mulch, but un-findable without a detector. Go ahead and enlarge the photo…you really can see it!

It’s Right There

Enlarge the Picture and You Will See









2nd Time Recovered









The whole time, Matt had a great sense of humor about the situation and vowed to put the ring on a necklace until he had it resized. No “smile” photo as requested.



Lost wedding ring recovered on the first swing, Vienna, Virginia.

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

March 24th, 2020. Matt called me about a lost wedding band. He had made healthy life style changes and lost over 50 pounds since last summer. Matt didn’t remember the ring falling off, but reasoned the most likely place in his backyard while he was mulching. The 30 minute drive was surreal with so few cars on the road. It would normally have taken me up to an hour on a normal day.
Matt showed me a 10 x 20 foot area of the yard wet with leaf mulch and mud.

I changed into my boots and geared up with my AT Max, ready to get dirty. In a well-defined search area, I like to start from one side and work my way across. I turned on and calibrated my AT Max and started to sweep the left edge. My first sweep resulted in a clear signal in the gold range! I dug into the muck about 5 inches, and there it was.

Although I did very little work, Matt insisted I accept his generous reward, a portion of which went to Fisher House. He was extremely happy, but preferred not to have his “smile” taken for the Book of Smiles.



Lost Class Ring Recovered From Farm Pond

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

November 19th, 2019
John, who recently returned from an overseas deployment, had lost a lot of weight. He was fishing on his farm pond with a young friend. While helping his friend remove a fish from his line, John’s Virginia Tech ring slipped off. As you can see from the photo, this is a treasured reminder of his beloved alma mater and he rarely took it off his finger. John had the foresight to immediately take note of where he was when the ring fell off.
Due to other obligations, it took a several weeks before Mrs. E and I could make the trip to Tappahannock. After a two hour drive we met John and his friend Billy. We immediately bonded with these awesome patriotic Virginians.
John decided to drain half the water out of the pond. He and his friends developed an ingenious method and spent many hours nursing the home-made pump. The depth was about 15 feet lower when we arrived. John and Billy placed a ladder so I could get safely get in and out of the water. John also launched his boat to give me a platform from which to work. I’m so grateful for his ingenuity and thoughtfulness.


Setting up in the woods


Half Drained & Boat

The pond had steep sides, zero visibility, and is over 25 feet deep. John and Billy helped me get my SCUBA gear into the boat and I snorkeled over to the opposite bank. As you can see from the photos, there were tangled branches interfering with the potential search site. I explored the area around, under, and through the tangle as best I could using my Excalibur detector.

To search in the water under the tangle I realized we would have to remove the branches. I decided to search the bank before undertaking the difficult task of removing the branches. It was a slippery, but there was little trash and the search went quickly. It felt wonderful to hear that beautiful tone when I located the ring and dug it up from the mud.

John’s help in draining the pond and putting me so close to the drop was extremely helpful. His generous reward was much appreciated and I donated a portion to Fisher House.

For help to recover your item, please text or call 703-598-1435

Diamond ring lost and found metal detecting on vacation in Florida

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

October 8th, 2019, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

I was on a family vacation trying out my Fisher Gold Bug 2 on the dry sand when Alma and Gene approached me. I removed my headphones and was asked “Does that thing really work? Do you think it could find a diamond ring?” I introduced myself, explained how I was a Ringfinder, and offered to help them recover their ring.


They told how they lost a brand new ring the day before. Alma felt the ring fly off while playing volleyball and that really narrowed down the area. They searched through the sand for several hours over two days, and were almost ready to give-up.

Within a few minutes, I located the ring under the net.
It was one of the highlights of my vacation!!

For help to recover your item, please text or call 703-598-1435



Diamond Earring Found and Returned

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

September, 2019

I have looked for jewelry so much that it has become a habit, and sometimes I even find items without a detector.

While visiting a local pool, I found a beautiful diamond earring. Over the next couple of weeks, I asked the lifeguards if anyone reported it in lost & found.





I was about to place an ad in the local community newsletter when one of the lifeguards remembered a note on their bulletin board. Someone named Ann did report it the day it was lost, and there was a note with her number! I called Ann and she came to my home to retrieve her earring. I very much appreciate her generous reward, which I donated to Fisher House. It is a great feeling to know this lovely earring got back to the rightful owner. 

Lost Ring Lake Recovered SCUBA Diving: Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

Ring Lost in Pennsylvania Lake Recovered SCUBA Diving

Lost July 15th, 2019; Sara and Alberto called to ask if I could find a lost ring. Sara was swimming with her daughter in their community lake. The daughter reached for Sara and accidently pulled the ring off Sara’s finger in about 10 feet of water. As the photo shows, the ring is intertwined bands. One of the bands is covered with diamonds. Sara’s ring matches Alberto’s ring, and the set has great sentimental value for the couple. They live outside my normal area, about 5 hours away. I offered to search, telling them my fee would include reimbursement for travel and overnight accommodations.

Sara and Alberto were hesitant so we discussed researching potential local options. I also suggested they call RingFinder SCUBA divers who were closer. Following my advice, Sara and Alberto found a local diver with a metal detector from a nearby dive shop. The diver agreed to search the area, removing submerged wooden boards from the bottom. Though he used a metal detector, he was not able to find the ring.

Next, they tried a SCUBA certified RingFinder team from another state. Unfortunately, they seemed uncomfortable with the conditions, unfamiliar with normal search patterns, and were also unable to locate the ring. Sara called again asking me to take the job.

July 30th, 2019 My Divemaster (Mrs.E), and I drove up and stayed in Wilkes-Barre. The next morning I searched for two hours. I had not anticipated how cold the water in the spring fed lake would be. Just below the surface the water temperature was in the mid-50s. The bottom had a layer of fine silt which, once disturbed, quickly decreased visibility (which was poor to begin with). I found numerous small bits of aluminum cans and bits of other trash. After 30 minutes, my perception narrowed and my efficiency decreased due to the cold. I didn’t find the ring.  But, now that I was familiar with the conditions I knew I could adjust for the cold and improve my search pattern. I asked Alberto if I could return and conduct another search for no fee and he said agreed.

August 12th, 2019 Mrs.E and I made the trip again.  This time I used a thicker dive suit (7mil). Because the weather had turned colder and the water was colder, visibility was better and I could recover  targets more effectively. One of the finds was a set of lifeguard keys used to open the gate to the lake and facility. I used a PVC grid I’d constructed but surfaced after an hour with no luck. My wife and I discussed our interpretations of the potential location of the ring, and she suggested searching closer to the dock. Within 30 minutes I heard a clear target. I gently waved my hand to move the silt and uncovered another piece of aluminum. Sitting next to it was Sara’s ring!

Getting to the Lake

Beautiful Site

Gear Staged

Easier to Get Dressed in the Water









Some Typical Trash


Saved From the Lake











Ring Lost in Lake Recovered Metal Detecting Richmond Virginia

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

June 30th, 2019 In Chesterfield (near Richmond) Virginia, Dustin was playing on a boogie board in the lake behind his home. He felt his ring slip off and quickly mentally marked his location and where it dropped. The ring is a family heirloom, which made the loss even more heart rending. After buying a detector and not being able to find it himself, he called me.

The water depth was about 4 feet deep, and the mud was almost a foot deep. Dustin had searched the area so the bottom was disturbed. There was a chance the ring had been inadvertently pushed into the mud, so I needed to be able to locate deeper targets. I started with my ATMax and a standard coil, but the signals were erratic. I switched to my Excalibur underwater detector and started to locate and remove the usual trash targets like fishing lures and pieces of aluminum. When I didn’t find it after an hour, I re-interviewed Dustin and visualized how a strong young man like Dustin would have been pushing his board. Using that information, I went a little deeper into the water and hit on a clear target. The depth and mud made it difficult to extract. Another successful recovery of a family treasure!

For help to recover your item, please text or call 703-598-1435

Lovely View

Starting to Search


Saved from the Lake!










Dustin Smile


Dustin’s Beautiful Classic Ring

Platinum Ring Lost in the Snow Recovered Fairfax Virginia

from Fairfax (Virginia, United States)
Contact: 1-703-598-1435

On January 15th, 2019 Chris lost his ring while cleaning snow off his car. He and his wife searched the area until dark. They called me and I got there as soon as possible the next day. In the afternoon traffic, it took me over an hour of travel! Now that I’m retired, I can drive there during the day in less than 30 minutes. After Chris’ wife showed me exactly where he was standing and what he was doing, I started the search. I placed my coil where I thought the ring might have landed, and heard a clean target on the second sweep. It was one of the quickest recoveries I have ever experienced!

Smile photograph withheld by request.

To recover your item, please text or call 703-598-1435