On Friday October 5th, I put on my wetsuit and drove a short distance out of Green Bay for a ring search. It had been lost the previous weekend when Tim, the ring’s owner, had been pulling his dock out of the water for the winter. He saw the ring plop into the water, and knew approximately where it was. I have been to the site the previous Tuesday, but high waves drove me off before I could make any progress. Since then, a storm had come, bringing in sand and waves that came to an all-time high-water mark of several decades. I was worried that the ring might have shifted, though it was a man’s heavy gold wedding band, and they tend to go straight down until they reach equilibrium. My diving buddy, Brian P., went with me because we knew the ring could have traveled. We measure the distance to the probable drop site 100 feet off shore, marked it with a float, and started our search patterns. The water was cold, but we persevered for three hours. Finally, I decided to dig the deep signals because we had been looking fairly shallow, and found it 18 inches down with my new Minelab Equinox, near the float marker. I couldn’t believe it had descended that deep, especially because it was nestled in stones, with only the top six inches being sand. Tim was overjoyed to see the ring back on his finger, especially because his silver wedding anniversary was coming up soon!
One of my students was walking his dog in a field and noticed his ring was missing. He called me, and I covered the area he thought he had lost his ring in for an hour with no luck. So, I widened the search and found it 10 feet from where it was accidentally flicked off! Gold rings are heavy, and they do fly! From frowns to smiles in no time!
On June 29th, I received a call from a young man who was working in town with a mission group. They were helping a person with some home improvements. It was an entire team of young people who had traveled from Indiana to Wisconsin to do good works. The temperature was in the mid-90’s. I drove to the property and searched the yard for a few an hour and 1/2, but the heat was killing me. I’m no spring chicken! My car temp was 101F! So, I told the young man that I would alert my local metal detecting club and someone would help. I have a lot of faith in them, but his face fell because his team had to leave in the morning. He didn’t believe anyone would come out in the sweltering heat. I left and went home to drink a lot of water!
Paul Ehrfurth responded, and also took about 90 minutes to search. But, he had the chance to search the lawn curb area more once the van had left. There it was! Soon it was back where it belonged, and the day was saved! Smiles all around. Paul nearly melted, but he didn’t give up! It’s good to have backups. The guys in the club believe strongly in returning wedding rings!
Shortly after the Memorial Day weekend, I received an email from Faye asking if I could possibly find her wedding ring. She had attended a picnic at her boss’s home and lost the ring there. We set up a date for June 7th after work, and I drove to about 45 miles to the site and met her there. The yard was large, the sun was hot, but the grass was only about 4 inches long, which made my sweeps easier. I gridded and criss-crossed the areas where Faye had been, but her face grew longer as the search went on. Finally, 58 minutes into it, I swept the final few square yards near the exit gate and my AT Pro rang it out loud and clear! She couldn’t believe it, and her smile was huge! Looking at the ring set, especially when I expected a plain band, showed why. It’s an irreplaceable work of art!
On March 21st, I received an email from a person named Kate, who had lost a vintage silver ring last summer while wilderness camping near the two-hearted river in Upper Michigan. It was her grandmother’s ring, and her fiance had been wearing it on a chain around his neck for seven years. They planned on getting married soon, and needed the ring to design their wedding bands. I explained that the trip would be pretty far, but she offered to pay expenses. Finally, we heard the snow melted there, so decided to leave. My detectorist friend, Brian, and I drove there last Friday. Brian did the driving because his vehicle has better climate control and he can see deer better. We drove, and drove, and drove. It was about 500 miles, plus an extra 60-mile trip to get a park pass from the State DNR Park office, plus kind of getting lost a few times because GPS, two phones, and a few maps all said different things. Finally, we found the camp site coordinates on Brian’s portable GPS, hiked a ways to it, and he found the ring! We celebrated with a couple of Yuengling beers. Taquamenon Falls was amazing, and the campsite was pretty cool, too.
On Saturday, May 26th, 2018, Brad contacted me to say he had lost his wedding band at a popular sandbar while throwing a football with his family. He called a friend who metal detects, who lived too far away to drive, but recommended me. I tried to find someone who would be at the lake, but nobody was available. So, I quick popped in the car and drove about 75 miles to the cottage. The entire family rode out to the sand bar with me to witness the search. They were all very nice, though worried it might never be found. Luckily, they had marked the spot using GPS on a cell phone, so we knew we were close. Well, maybe not, as opinions differed as to which direction the 14k ring had flown. Gold can grow wings when it catches on a football! After about 20 minutes of pattern searching, a handful of pop tabs and a few coins, I heard what I thought was another pop tab signal in my AT Pro Headphones. A beautiful wedding band with inlaid diamonds appeared in the scoop, and Brad plucked it out with a big smile! His finger needed that ring back on it after 21 years! It was well-worth the drive to make Brad and his wife happy!
Dan’s gold wedding band has been on his finger since 1969. He lost it while setting out a Christmas scene in his yard last December. Snow and cold, not to mention a late April blizzard made searching impossible, but Dan waited until the thaw. Finally, on April 29th, I received an email asking me to look. I drove to his home around noon and found it in 45 minutes. I never saw such a big smile. He didn’t feel complete without his ring back where it belonged.
I received a call this morning from Brian D. who had just finished spreading a bale of straw on his lawn and could not find his wedding band. He figured it must have slipped off during the yard work. I was out with my wife at the Parallel 44 Winery picking up our membership selection, and told him I would search as soon as we returned. About an hour later, I pulled up to Brian’s yard and began sweeping the straw. As luck would have it, I found his ring in the very last square inch searched! Brian was happy to put it back on his finger where it belongs. And, because he knew I like wine, he gifted me a nice bottle of red wine from Tuscany, Italy, which he recently carried all the way back to the states! Bonus!
I forgot to post this last September, but it’s an aweseome recovery story! I was called out by a married couple who needed some help searching a sand bar for her lost ring set. It consisted of three beautiful 14k rings from their engagement, wedding, and anniversary with many sparkly diamonds, and it was her pride and joy, in addition to their four wonderful children. She was throwing a football in the water with some friends and noticed it gone. She never thought it would be recovered until they googled Ringfinders. She, her husband, and I searched for the better part of a day with no luck. Then, I went out on my own for a full day, again with no luck. I ventured out a third time with my two friends, Jeff and Brian, thinking three experienced detectorists would have better results. I found the signal right about where she had searched with me the first time, and quickly texted a pic to her husband. He drove to pick it up and bought the three of us some hot hamburgers and cold beer. It was great to see his smile! He didn’t tell his wife it had been found, but just laid it on the kitchen counter and snapped her picture when she saw it. Nice of him to share it! The Ringfinders make a lot of couples very happy to recover their treasured memories. It’s more than just finding rings.