Todd Williver

Lost engagement ring found – Central Oregon High Desert.

  • from Bend (Oregon, United States)

It certainly doesn’t always take a metal detector to find a lost ring; sometimes the methodical perseverance of an experienced metal detectorist is all it takes.  Such was the case last week in the Central Oregon high desert east of the Cascade mountains.

Maddie sent me a text message on Sunday evening, through portal.  She and her fiance Tyler were visiting family property along the shores of scenic Lake Billy Chinook when a late season snow storm afforded an opportunity for some sledding on the rolling hills adjoining the lake.  Shortly after the foray, she discovered her engagement ring was missing…the sledding hill was the likely spot.

I offered to help but unfortunately, Maddie and Tyler were leaving to head back to Portland, and Maddie was uneasy about leaving specific information about the location of probably her most valuable possession, now lost.  Understandable, and probably smart, Maddie and Tyler waited out a miserable week in Portland and returned to the family property the following weekend to search.  Their search proved unfruitful, and she texted me again for help.  Although the window of time we both had was narrow, we managed to find some early morning time the following morning that worked for both of us.

A pre-dawn departure from my house, and one hour and 32 minute drive (with a bit of backtracking when Google maps led me astray) and I was at the family property with the couple.  I followed them back down the road a mile or so, to the sledding hill.  What must have been a pristine wonderland when snow-covered was now an obvious ATV playland, covered with decades of hillside erosion, beer cans, pull-tabs and bottle caps.  The snow had melted, leaving a layer of water-saturated silt, slick and muddy.

After a series of questions about where they had been sledding, I put them to work marking out likely areas…the bottom of the two hills there were sledding on, the location where the car was parked, an area where Maddie had taken off her gloves to take a picture…and started a methodical grid-search patterns of each of those spots, working both north/south and east/west to be sure nothing was missed.  Three-plus hours of marching through the dirt and mud produced hundreds of false targets, one Apple iPhone, but no engagement ring.  I told the forlorn Maddie that I was reasonably certain that the ring was not in the areas that we had searched (of course it’s always possible that we miss objects, but I had been pretty careful) and that we needed to think about where else it might have been lost.

After consideration, two other locations were possible.  First, was the area where she had first noticed it missing.  On the drive back they had stopped alongside the road and she noticed it was missing. They had very carefully searched that graveled roadside, to no avail.  Also, the driveway and parking area of the house where they had loaded to head out on their sledding adventure.  We stopped at the roadside area first, where I spent twenty minutes-or-so, without luck.

We arrived back at the driveway where I started with a litany of the usual questions:  At what location(s) had the vehicles been parked?  Were you the driver or passenger?  Where did you load items into or out of the vehicle?  Did you do anything else in the parking lot?  After the examination there were two likely spots.  An area on the east of the driveway where the Jeep had been parked (and where Maddie remembered taking off her gloves) and an area to the west where they had parked the Jeep to unload upon arrival from Portland.

I grabbed the detector and started swinging the closest area, on the east side of the parking lot, working through still snow-encrusted gravel, when to my right I noticed unusually rapid movement.  I couldn’t hear the commentary though my metal detector headphone, but Tyler (who had walked over to examine the previous unsearched area to the west where they had unloaded the Jeep when arriving from Portland) had obviously made a momentous discovery – what metal detectorists call a surface find.  Walking briskly toward Maddie, to my left, and holding her treasured engagement ring high for all to see, Tyler had made the discovery of the day, and was able to present his beautiful bride with her engagement ring, a second time.

In Maddie’s eyes Tyler is a hero, and deservedly so.  I’m pleased that I was able to assist in assuring that Maddie’s ring is back where it belongs, and another happy ending is able to be recorded on

Congratulations Tyler and Maddie.  I wish you all the best in your coming nuptials, and hope the future is filled with adventure and excitement…with your rings securely affixed to your fingers.

Happy Couple

Back where it belongs!

Wedding Ring Lost during 15 Year Anniversary Vacation – FOUND!!

  • from Bend (Oregon, United States)

The cold sands of the central Oregon Coast are generally unforgiving.  The combination of high tidal fluctuation and pacific storms bringing high winds and wave action often move objects around faster than they can be recovered.  However, not so for this Colorado couple visiting Pacific City, Oregon on their 15 year wedding anniversary.  While playing on the dunes near the beach with the family Del felt his heavy platinum ring fall off, and heard it hit the ground.  They sifted though the loose sand to no avail, then found on the internet.  It was a short message, “Do you come to Pacific City?”  Pacific City is only about an hour from my work place in Newport, but at the time I was at my home Sisters, OR high-up in the Oregon Cascades.  A series of text messages revealed that the ring was likely worth looking for, but they were headed back to Colorado in the morning – I couldn’t get there until Saturday.

They did a great job of pin-pointing the location: a Google Maps satellite view of the area with lines and arrows, and a cairn made out of sea shells  before they left on their lonely journey home, sans a special 15-year-old wedding ring(remember, you can always drop a pin in Google Maps allowing us to navigate right back to it, as well).

Saturday morning was a  beautiful coastal morning.  Warm-ish, with a slight marine layer allowing occasional glimpses of the pounding surf of the Pacific as we drove to Pacific City.  The marine layer was just clearing as we arrived at the vacation rental.  My plan (hope, really) was that the home hadn’t been rented to someone else already, and use it for beach access.  However, there was a car in the driveway and nobody answering the door.  Rather than risk intruding on their vacation, we parked about half a mile south at Bob Straub Park (named for a well-liked Oregon Treasurer) and walked north in the bright sunshine of the early Oregon morning, sipping coffee and listening to the cry of the gulls above.  The beach was fairly deserted at this hour, and Roper (my two year old Cowboy Corgi) was able to romp and frolic to his heart’s content (pausing only for the occasional hero shot).

Arriving at the location was easy due to the google maps navigation.  Several landmarks were unmistakable, and yes, there was the cairn of seashells.  The sand was  soft, well above the surf-line and on much more of an incline than it appeared from the satellite view.  I debated briefly between the Garrett ATX and the AT Pro, opting ultimately for the Pro since it was set up, and ready to go.  I figured I could always come back to the ATX if needed.  Power button on, a quick ground balance, and three swings later the unmistakable mid-tone thud of heavy gold and platinum.  It happened so quick I almost didn’t believe it.  The area was a steep slope with a shallow bench, then falling off into the surf.  That ring could have (should have) rolled or sank out-of-sight.  Was that really it?  Swing, thud, swing thud, swing thud…it must be.  One scoop of sand…thud, still in the hole.  Another…thud, still in the hole.  A third, thud.  A fourth, silence.  I had it in my scoop.  Shake, shake, shake the sand out through the small holes until the rattle of metal on metal can be heard.  Yep. there it was – an extremely heavy, men’s platinum ring, from nearly 12″ down in the soft summer sand.  The reply text from Colorado summed it up, “OMG!!!”

It’s nice to be able to return items of significance to good folks.  It’s heartbreaking to know that sometimes the precious memories contained within a sentimental item will be lost forever if they happen to be lost in the wrong place, or folks don’t know to look for  Please help us spread the word.  We’re always willing to listen and more often anxious to try to help.  The feeling we derive from a successful recovery is certainly worth the effort.



Lost Rings and Jewelry found by The Ring Finders – Bend, Oregon

  • from Bend (Oregon, United States)

I’ve joined The Ring Finders to help people that have lost rings, jewelry or other items of value.  I can also help finding property markers or corner posts.  I’m proud to be part to The Ring Finders network and happy to help/assist in the recovery of your lost items.  Whether Gold, Silver, Platinum, Ring, Necklace, Bracelet, Broach, Coins or other valuable item, if it has metal in it, we may be able to locate and recover it.

Time is not our friend; please don’t hesitate.  Let’s make an effort to find it before someone else stumbles across it and it’s gone forever.  However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t locate objects that have been lost a long time.  Especially if they were lost of private property, or places of limited access, it’s likely still there – waiting to be reunited with you.

I’m located in the Central Oregon area (Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Sunriver, LaPine, Madras, Priveville) but spend a lot of time on the Central Oregon Coast as well (Newport, Waldport, Lincoln City, Coos Bay).  I’m willing to travel elsewhere, if you cover expenses.  I work on a reward basis.  If we are successful in locating your valuable, reward me for the effort.  If we don’t, no harm in trying – I will only charge a $25 call-out fee.


I look forward to helping to put you and your valuables back together.


Sincerely,  Todd Williver


Silver Ring Recovery in Bend, Oregon