#foundring Tag | The Ring Finders

Right Place, Right Time

  • from Lake Geneva (Wisconsin, United States)

I’m an elementary school teacher.  It’s a great profession, but comes with stresses that I’d rather not bring home to my family.  It was a Tuesday afternoon in April.  School dismissed, and I decided some detecting time at my local beach might help me clear my head before heading into the evening with my wife and kids.  

      Three were a handful of people on the beach, enjoying a bit of sun that was trying to peek through the clouds.  I was crouched down working on a signal when a man approached me and asked if my detector could find a missing cell phone.  Mohammed explained that his wife had lost her new cell phone in the sand.

I eagerly told him yes, and finished digging my target.  It turned out to be a penny.

The city had recently dumped large piles of sand on the beach in preparation of spreading a fresh layer prior to the summer season.  Mohammed and his wife were sitting on one of these piles and discovered the phone was missing.  

They tried calling the phone, to no avail.  

A few minutes of sweeping the mound revealed the phone.  When I pulled it out of the sand, it was ringing.  They were down the beach looking in other areas.  I answered the phone and said,  “I found it!”

They were elated.  They ran to meet up with me with fist bumps and thank yous.  It was a right place-right time situation.  

When I got home that night, I was destressed from my day in the classroom, and I was pleased to help out this kind and grateful couple.

A Daughter’s Ring

  • from Lake Geneva (Wisconsin, United States)

“Daddy! Daddy!” my six-year old blubbered, tears streaking her cheeks as she ran to the car.  Throwing the car in park and opening the door, I could see there was indeed a crisis.  Was she stung by a wasp?  Did she fall and bloody her knee?  Perhaps there was a conflict with her older sister over who gets to be next on the tire swing.  

As I crouched next to her, hugging her closely, she whispered, “Oh, Daddy…  I lost it!”  

“What, Honey?  What did you lose?” I asked.

She was holding her favorite doll, Sally.  Sally… with her blue dress and matted-brown hair, little tattoo lines on her legs and arms from when my daughter was first learning how to hold a pen.  I knew Sally wasn’t missing, so what had she misplaced?

“My ring, Daddy.  My bunny ring.  I lost it in the woods.”

I smiled and nearly laughed out loud.  She had lost her ring—her metal ring.  

I’ve been metal detecting for nearly three years, and have been part of The Ringfinders network for two of those years.  I constantly show my four children all of my “treasures” and often get complaints if I mention bringing my detector on a family outing.  You you… just in case.  

“Honey, do you know anyone who might be able to find a missing metal ring?”  And I smiled.

Like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza, she lit up from head to toe up with her new realization.  

My daddy has a metal detector.

I opened my trunk, took out and turned on my detector in one smooth motion, and walked over to a hammock that hangs on the edge of the woods.  Minutes later, her bunny ring was back on her finger and a smile replaced her tears.  Dad the superhero; just what every dad longs to be for his daughter.

 

Although I enjoy helping strangers find lost items, this might be my favorite recovery so far.

Class Ring Recovered… 57 Years Later

  • from Lake Geneva (Wisconsin, United States)

57 Years

The forecast for Friday, July 9th, 2021 was full sun with a high of 72 degrees.  I figured it would be like most days metal detecting… a gamble.  Would I come home with anything noteworthy?  Or would it be a morning where I simply got out and under the waters of Geneva Lake, some time to mingle with the panfish and smallmouth bass, sand, and seaweed.

After sliding into my wetsuit and loading the car with my gear, I was off to detect at my favorite beach.  Little did I know that today’s find would transport me back to the year the Beatles first performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Surgeon General reported that smoking may lead to lung cancer.  

Detecting around a swim pier is slow, sometimes tedious work.  I’m not sure the order of my finds, but along with a half-dozen bobby pins, washers and nails, and hair ties, I pulled up a 1941 Mercury Dime and two junk rings.  

My next find was almost effortless.  It was in fact only a few inches under.  After a bit of stirring and pushing aside debris, I revealed gold—big gold—a bulking, shining class ring.  I studied it underwater, looking for a stamp inside the band.  There it was, “10K”.  Jackpot!  And then I noticed three letters stamped into the band in ornate cursive, “F.E.C.”

Connecting lost items with the owners is rarely easy.  But, this ring was different.  I not only had one piece of evidence- the initials F.E.C.—but I also had a year—1963—and a high school from New Jersey.    

I stared at the Google search engine box and typed in Bogota High School, New Jersey.   I quickly found the high school and began to look for phone numbers, maybe of the high school librarian.  I figured there was a dusty yearbook from 1963 that someone could leaf through on my behalf, looking for a name that matched my “F.E.C.”  As it turned out, there was a sparkly digital version of the 1963 yearbook that I could swipe through all by myself.  Just pages in, I got to the senior photos: black and white faces of eager high schoolers, ready to break out into the world, just as the Beatles would soon be breaking into the hearts and homes of Americans.  I slowly studied each name.  Finally I was rewarded with the entry I needed—in all caps—FRANCIS EDWARD CONDON in a white shirt, dark tie, and tweed sport coat.  

I now had a name and face, albeit a face from 58 years ago.  If he was alive, he would be nearing 78 years old.  Could I find him, or at least his family?  That would come, but months later.

For months off and on I tried searching online.  People-finding services all turned up dead ends or those much younger or older than Mr. Condon.  On September first, I was directed by other metal detectorists to try the website True People Search.  Minutes later I had five phone numbers for a 77 year-old Floridian named Francis E. Condon.

I stepped outside and into my driveway to get away from the clatter of four children.  After dialing the fifth and final number I expect the same dead end.  “Hello?”  a woman’s voice answered.  

“Hello, I replied.  I’m looking for a ‘Francis Edward Condon.’  I think I have something that belongs to him.  Is he available?”

Over the next few minutes I spoke with Mr. Condon, my voice jumpy with excitement.  It was clear after two questions that this was the man I was searching for.

Question 1: Have you ever been to Lake Geneva, WI?  Answer: Yes

Question 2: Did you ever lose anything there?  Answer: Yes, my class ring.

There was a big celebration on my end.  But a bigger one was coming.  

“Sir, I have to ask, when did you lose it?”  (After all, Lake Geneva is a tourist town, with lots of visitors.)  In my mind’s eye I could see an older man, fingers wrinkled with time, gripping the white edge of the swimming pier.  Perhaps he had been watching his grandchildren showing off their very best cannonballs.  His hands were clapping vigorously as a smile shot out of the water.  “What did you think of that one, Grandpa?”  And then, the sound… plunk! The empty spot on the ring finger, the weight of 8 grams of gold, suddenly missing.  

But none of the above fantasy was true.  The hand that lost the ring was young and vigorous, grandchildren were decades in the future.  The hand… and the ring, were from a newly-enlisted soldier in the spring or summer of 1964.  Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama, and Jeff Bezos were unknown in 1964—they were busy being born.  

This high school ring, the one I held in my hand, dropped into Geneva Lake in 1964 and fell out of sight for 57 years.  My mind was swimming.

*  *  *

Mr. Condon received his ring back on Sept. 13th, 2021.  He slipped it on and sent me a photo of his smile.

People often ask, “What’s the best thing you’ve ever found?”  My reply is always— stories.  I know that’s not what they want to hear, but I would trade any ring, coin, or old button for the story behind it.  Most of the time the story goes untold.  This is one I have enjoyed telling over and over again, and it never ceases to amaze me every time I tell it.

Lost Ring in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania… Found!

  • from Altoona (Pennsylvania, United States)

Kurt called me up and told me his fiance’ Angela lost her ring while playing Frisbee with their dog, Bear. The grassy area she lost it in was a somewhat challenging search area. Woods bordered one side of a rather narrow plateau walkway with a sloping hill and long grass to the other side. Since Kurt and Angela had searched most of the day before and even into the night with flashlights, my fear was the ring had flown off her finger and landed somewhere on either side of the path. Luckily after about 20 minutes of searching, I got a good signal and was able to spot her ring in the grass and return it to them.

I couldn’t have asked to meet nicer people today. Kurt is a very pleasant young man and his lovely fiance’ Angela came outside afterwards to express her gratitude to Julie and I for finding her ring. Even Bear was happy and jumping all over us although I guess that’s just what dogs do. He seemed excited though. In yet another realization of how strange things are now living in the COVID 19 social distancing era,  Angela said she was so relieved and wanted to give me a hug but said she’d respect the six feet rule. Even though I missed the handshakes and hugs that usually go along with a successful recovery, I’m happy to have helped out Kurt and Angela (and Bear) in their time of need and wish them luck and happiness.

Man lost 18k white gold latched wedding band Farlain Lake, Penetang, ON

  • from Brampton (Ontario, Canada)

I received a message from Laura M whom was visiting here Family cottage on Farlain Lake, Penetang, Ontario. Here Husband and 2 Sons were visiting the Family and were flying home to Calgary, Alberta soon. She asked if I was able to locate in 8′ waters with a murky bottom. I quickly replied I could and was available immediately after work.

Severe thunderstorms had rolled in Ontario that afternoon. I had just finished another ring find in the water and the rain came down. I arrived at the cottage, met the Family and brought all the gear down to the bottom. Turns out her Brother-in-Law lost his gold wedding band over 10 years ago as well.

I had sent a message earlier in the day to mark the location with a rock and floating jug to cut down the area to search. The thunder and lightening started so we waited it out for about 10 minutes…and proceeded to gear up. I also brought a magnet for the kids to try magnet fishing….they loved it!

WOW, it was a very silty bottom with 6-8″ of muck so hard to keep a good grid pattern direction. Just over an hour later…..my trusty Minelab Excalibur 2 toned off with a sweet crisp tone. BINGO BANGO!!! There is was!!

Here is a link to the video from my YouTube channel;

 

I started to look for the 2nd lost wedding band of the Brother-in-Law but the darkness was setting in! I’ll be back!! Very happy clients before they head home to Calgary, Alberta! Lovely Family!!

  

Sheila’s twice lost ring into Lake Sammamish in one day

  • from Mercer Island (Washington, United States)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a call from Sheila and she explained to me that she lost her diamond wedding ring in Lake Sammamish,  off a private residential dock. While she was dipping her toe over the edge of the dock to check the water temperature for a swim her loose fitting wedding ring of thirty years slipped off her finger into the lake. She continued to tell me that she could see the ring glistening on the bottom. She them jumps into the lake and retrieved the ring from about thirteen feet below. She had no place to secure the ring as she didn’t want it to fall off her finger again during the swim back so she placed it into her moth.

Watch the video to see the full story unfold:

On her way to shore she was in about chest hight water when she started taking to her friend in the back yard when the ring slipped out of her mouth and back into the lake a second time! At this point her feet had stirred up the silt, boats going by were causing some wakes, she was getting cold and feared she might just keep steeping on the ring burying it deeper. So she noted the area and got out of the water.

She then went on line to find some professional assistance were she found me.

I agreed to assist in the recovery of her ring. Arriving with full dive gear not ever knowing exactly what to expect and how solid the information provided will be this has proven to make these missions much more successful than by simply free diving. Having the proper drysuit to keep warm and conferrable and and redundant air supplies for these types of task take a lot of other issues out of the loop. Of course SCUBA brings with it a whole other required skill set of its own to be done with proper risk management.

Sheila had told me way back in the day there was a lumber mill near the lake and many of their logs are still imbedded in the silt. She also provided a solid landmark that her feet was near one of the planks when she lost the ring the second time. These provided details greatly aided in the recovery effort by firmly marking the target zone of the search efforts.

The search took a bit of time as they sometimes do however I found the ring in the general area under water as Sheila described. 

I proceeded to surprise her with the ring and she was very happy to be reunited once again.

Cheers,

Jeff Morgan

SeattleRingHunter

206-618-8194

Lost gold ring found at Vanderbilt Beach, Naples, Florida

  • from Marco Island (Florida, United States)

While swimming at Vanderbilt Beach on Sunday 4/22/18, Michele suddenly and unexpectedly felt one of her beautiful 14k gold rings come off her finger.  For nearly two hours dozens of people, some from her group and other swimmers nearby, frantically searched the crystal clear water with masks and snorkels, but could not find the lost ring.  Despite incoming tide and increasing wind and surf, Michele did the right thing, she made note of several reference points and calmly remained in place while others sought help and arranged for location services.  Upon my arrival Michele described the ring and we carefully reviewed reference points, both of which made for a quick and successful recovery.  Notwithstanding use of $3k+ in search equipment, I found the ring within seconds, mere inches from where she was and had remained standing.  A picture is worth a thousand words…

Found lost gold ring

14k gold ring

Search party

Lost Gold Wedding Band Found in Riverchase area of Hoover, Alabama!

  • from Pinson (Alabama, United States)

I received a call from Taylor Schach over the weekend while at the beach for spring break. Spoke with him for about 15 minutes about his wedding band that he lost while doing some yard work to fix the excavations from a few chipmunks. He explained he was working in the yard and believed that he knew the area where he lost it. He stated that he went and rented a metal detector and tried to find it himself. After a bit of searching and no help from the people who he rented the detector from as how to operate it, he only managed to come up with a few clad coins in the yard. He searched the internet and came upon the ring finders site and saw I was in the area and called. I explained that I would be returning home on Sunday and maybe we can meet late Sunday or Monday after I got off work. We settled for Monday because I would be turning late Sunday from the beach.

I made it over to Taylor’s residence and he showed me the areas where he was working and filling in the chipmunks holes and tunnels. He also said that it could have come off in the driveway while playing basketball also and believed that if it did it would be located in the bushes next to the driveway. After planning out how I wanted to do my search, I pulled out the pinpointer and started to check each hole that he filled up with dirt, there was about a total of 10 or so holes that need to be checked. After about 5 minutes I started to get a signal with my pinpointer in a hole that had a tunnel in it that went off at an angle that he had filled in. After scooping it out twice I started to get a signal, after scooping out another five or six times the signal was not in the hole anymore. I turned my pinpointer to the area I was piling up the dirt and there was the signal again. Moving the dirt with the edge of the pinpointer the gold wedding band shined in the sunlight. Taylor was surprised that I found it that fast. He was very happy that I was able to recover his wedding band for him. It was down about 8 inches, down in the chipmunk tunnel. It never gets old to see the expressions on their faces when you tell them you found it and you are able to return their lost possessions to the them.

Thought lost engagement ring in field while taking Family Photos~Caledon, Ontario

  • from Brampton (Ontario, Canada)

Received a phone call late in the afternoon from Jarom & Hannah H of Brampton, Ontario.

Church Friends & Friends of recent ring finder client Boris T again recommended me to assist in helping find a lost engagement ring.

The Family had gathered to have Family photographs taken in a beautiful field/pond setting in Caledon, Ontario. Hannah discovered she had lost her engagement ring and was unsure where it came off. I met Jarom at the location and we retraced their steps from the car, down the road where they had walked to the field, the ditch and a large area of the field. NO LUCK. …..2nd attempt, again NO LUCK.

I advised that I could pop over to their home in Brampton after work.

I was very happy to receive a message the THE FING WAS FOUND at home….in the laundry basket!!!

Wonderful news!! One very happy wife….and husband 🙂

Sometimes we don’t always find it….because it isn’t there. GREAT ENDING and a very lovely couple and Daughter xo