Steve contacted me late in the afternoon on July 4th, he had dropped his wedding ring in the sand on the Boardwalk beach here in Santa Cruz. That’s normally a 3 minute drive from my home but unfortunately I was out of the area at that moment. The fact that I wouldn’t be able to get out there until well after dark, combined with the realities of the crowds and mayhem that would be inundating that area forced my hand. We agreed to meet out there first thing in the morning. I arrived at 7a.m. to find Steve working with another detectorist who had happened by prior to my arrival. That was all good, the more hands the better usually but after one look at the equipment being used I was privately concerned that more harm than good may have been done. The other detector was a very low-end model with a coil on it that wasn’t significantly larger than a bottlecap . . seriously around 3″ in diameter. That setup was going to be lucky to find a gold ring with stones even on the surface, let alone at any depth but my real concern was the holes that had been dug in the most likely area . . the ring may have been “dug under” even deeper in their zeal but I kept my concerns to myself. Steve was obviously very concerned already and I didn’t want to add to that burden. Luckily, he had been very prudent in keeping tabs on exactly where he had seen it drop so I had high hopes of recovery. Steve wasn’t showing it but I could see he was already starting to doubt a happy outcome and I really wanted to come through for him. I had my White’s MXT Pro mounted up with the 10″DD coil which I figured should get my search signal deep enough even if the ring had been driven down. I started my search grid centered on the high probability zone. A few minutes in I had only retrieved one partial pull tab but soon after that I got a good, solid signal. There, in the sand about 4″ down lay the beautiful gold band and diamonds. Contrasted against the sand in the overcast, grey morning
light it looked stunning ! I glanced at Steve and the smile that lit up his face the exact moment he saw it was equally as brilliant. Those moments are immeasurable and priceless. Steve and his wife’s July 4th celebration may have come a day later this year but it’s one I’m sure they will remember long after the others have faded.