I got an phone call the Monday before Christmas from Richard. He and I go back nearly forty years. “Are you still doing that “Ring Finders Thing”? This was how the conversation started. Richard and his son Rick are owners and operators of a local plumbing company. Richard went on to explain that his son lost his wedding band the night before while fixing some broken and frozen water lines. He told me that Rick played it off as an “Oh Well!”, but Richard could tell that it hurt him to lose. We set a time to meet at the church that afternoon. His last words to me were “Bring your rubber boots.”
Boy, Richard was not kidding about the boots. There was a 60′ open trench exposing the water lines. On each side of this trench was a pile of the hand dug mud, clay and dirt. There was a pump in the trench removing the water to allow an easier search. Richard also explained about another area about 40 yards away where they were using an excavator. The ground between the trench and the area that they unloaded the machinery was chewed beyond recognition by the tracks. I had Richard and Pastor Danny rub there left earlobe and say a quick prayer for luck as I started the search. I searched the grounds between the trench and the excavator first, as I waited for the pumps to do their job. False signals were ever present. I was happy to have the discriminating power of the CTX 30-30. After 15 to 20 minutes of working that side of the trench and its’ diggings, I moved around to the other side. I worked the trench and the diggings without the all familiar “Gold Tone” from the Minelab. I started working a small patch of brush just outside of the dirt pile. I got a crisp signal that looked to be a pull tab in the response, but investigated it anyway. “Whoop, there it is”. There in a clump of mud was Ricky’s wedding band. Richard snatched the ring from my hand and crushed me with a big hug. He and Pastor Danny let out a great big “whoop” and then it happened. “The Ring Dance”. Richard’s smile turned into a quivering chin and a tear swelled under his eye. But big boys don’t cry… It must have been something in his eye.
Richard said he was going to give the ring to Rick for Christmas. I reminded him that Rick’s wife might decide to replace it for a gift and that he needed to let her in on the idea. Richard couldn’t stand it though, and wrapped it up and presented it to Rick that afternoon. It was a rewarding hunt for me to be able to help friends, as most of the time I am getting calls from complete strangers.
I received a phone call from Kaylynn Tuesday afternoon about her fiance’s lost tungsten promise ring. Jake had the ring slip from his finger just two hours before in the mid to high tide waters of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jake lost the ring in waist deep water. The tide was dropping at the time of her phone call. Time was on her side, darkness was not. I met Kaylynn in the parking lot of the beach resort they were staying and we moved quickly to the beach as she described the loss. On the beach I met Jake and Kaylynn’s father. Dad was sitting in a chair and kept a visual on the area the ring was lost. I had everybody present rub their left earlobe as I began the search. The beach in the area was now dry and made me feel good about our search. Kaylynn and Jake walked me out to the area they thought best for the search. There was a new problem happening as we spoke. As the tide was receding, one of our storm water swashes was cutting a trough in the newly exposed beach right in the middle of our search area. The swash was removing beach sand at a rapid rate. When I entered the running water I soon realized that I was only going to be able to search in one direction, down stream. I would walk down steam in the water for about 35 yards, and return up the dry sand at water’s edge. I went back into the water a little deeper each pass and returned a little wider. I was having no luck. I expanded the grid to include the area where the running water met the ocean water, thinking that where they met the ring would have a chance to settle and sink in the sand. Now in darkness Jake ran to the car to get a flash light. The back light on my detector was not functioning, and it was impossible to see anything in the sand scoop. After an hour I was ready to give up thinking that the search might be easier in the daylight. As a last ditch effort I decided to expand the grid just a few yards farther south just to make sure. Just three feet outside my original grid I got the signal and numbers I was looking for. With the flash light I confirmed what I already knew, there was a “ring in the scoop”. I walked to where the young couple was sitting and told them that I was calling off the search…wait…wait… because I found Jake’s ring. Jake was a little reserved, but Kaylynn did “the ring dance” as I returned Jake’s ring.
Kaylynn and Jake, thank you for the reward. I wish the both of you much happiness in your future.
I don’t know what it is, but we males of the species always want to find new and exciting ways to ask the girl of our dreams to marry us. This ritual was no different for Patrick and the future Mrs. Kim.
I got a phone call from a very upset young man. Patrick asked if I could help him find his fiance’s engagement ring that was lost on the beach the night before. I headed to the house to get my metal detecting gear and headed his way. Meeting Patrick and his lovely fiance at the beach about an hour later, I began with all the usual questions about how the ring was lost. Slowly it begins dawning on me that Patrick had buried it. Staring at Patrick in disbelief I could see the look of embarrassment creeping onto his face. It seems that Patrick’s plan was to hide the engagement ring in the sand that night. He marked the spot with a plastic shovel. He called the future Mrs. Kim, Jennifer, to the beach from their hotel room. Patrick asked her the million dollar question. He handed Jennifer the shovel and pointed to two piles of sand next to him. On one pile was etched the word “yes” and the other “no”. Jennifer picked the “Yes” pile and began to dig. Jennifer did not know that under the sand she was looking for a white gold band with a .5 caret diamond still in the jewelers box. In the darkness of the night Jennifer dug… and dug… and dug. Patrick joined her in a panic search. From 11 o clock until 4 in the morning they dug. The tide finally ran them out of the area. The next morning Patrick bought a metal detector from the local everything store. Patrick and Jennifer searched for a few hours to no avail and called me. I did a small grid search of the area and pulled a few junk pieces from the sand. Patrick had the wedding band in a similar box. Patrick asked if I wanted him to place it on the sand to give me a read. I was surprised to get almost no signal on my CTX. I looked at the box and discovered that it was made of tin under all the fabric. This box was masking the signal big time. I was soon making critical adjustments to my equipment and re-searched. I expanded the grid twice more. Patrick and I began discussing some very real possibilities, none of which he really wanted to hear. I told Patrick and Jennifer to talk with the Hotel management of the four closest hotels. Also to start monitoring Craig’s List. I asked him about insurance. “No”. I asked him if he owned a home. “Yes”. I told him that home owners insurance might cover the loss, and suggested a police report. Patrick agreed, and he and Jenn headed to motel management and to call the police dept. I continued searching the beach listening for any whisper. I expanded the grid twice more and turned off the machine. I called Patrick on his cell phone to let him know I was shutting down. He told me he was on his way to the police dept. It seems that a couple walking the beach 4 blocks away had discovered a treasure box with a diamond ring in it. The high tide picked up the box and carried it away the night before. Can you imagine? WOW! This very honest couple turned the ring over to the beach patrol police and the police took it to the station waiting for just the right people to call. I did not personally find this ring but, I will take a win anyway it comes. The smiles on, Future, Mr. and Mrs. Kim’s faces tell me that they agree. Patrick and Jennifer, good luck in your new future. Patrick, no embarrassment my friend, she won’t soon forget this. Every ring has a story attached to it. Your ring started with a story. Traveling mercies back to Georgia. Thanks for reading this fun adventure story.