Ring and Jewelry Metal Detecting Recovery Service. Call Jim ASAP! 843-655-5889
On Friday, March 12th, I was out doing some metal detecting on the beach after a long spell of being stuck in the house due to COVID-19. After finishing up, and with little to show for my efforts, I checked my cell phone for any calls or text messages. I had a text from Travis that said in part, “Jim – have a silver ring Lola red somewhere in an azalea bush on Oak Island at my in-laws house. Let’s touch base and see what your availability is when you have a moment. Thanks!” This was my first lost ring call for 2021 and I was ready. I called Travis and asked what the situation was. He stated that he had lost his ring almost a year ago in some azalea bushes. I told him I had nothing going on and could be there in a couple of hours. He said he’d text his mother-in-law and let her know I was coming. In the meantime, I did a quick Google search to get an idea on what type ring I was looking for and get an idea of what numbers on the detector to look for.
When I got to his in-laws house, I knocked on the door and met Travis’ father-in-law, Bill. We introduced ourselves and he showed me the bushes where the ring was supposed to be. I asked how the ring ended up in the bushes. Bill said that Travis had been cleaning out a bucket and when Travis threw the water from the bucket into the bushes, the ring went with the water. Bill also stated that he had used a metal detector himself but wasn’t able to find the ring. I grabbed my Equinox 800 and pin pointer out of the car and went to work. The back of the bushes were accessible so I was able to work the detector in and around the low hanging branches and over some roots. Within just a couple of minutes, I hit a target showing a solid 14 on the 800 VDI (visual display indicator). I wasn’t positive I had Travis’ ring because with the description I got from him and my Google search, I expected a higher VDI number. I learned a long time ago that with all the different metals and percentages of metals being used to make rings and other jewelry, things don’t ring up on a metal detector like you’re expecting. Also, if I’m looking for someone’s lost treasure; every signal I get needs to be checked. Because of all the low branches, I wasn’t able to get to the target from where I was. I marked the spot with a stick and made my way to the front of the bushes. I was able to crawl far enough under the bush that I could use the pin pointer to find the target. I moved some dead leaves and Bingo! I took a quick picture and sent it to Travis asking “is this it?” Within seconds he texted me back saying “That is it!”
I called him and asked if he wanted me to mail his ring home or leave it with his father-in-law, he told me to leave the ring with his father-in-law and he’d pick it up the following week.
Travis – Thanks for trusting The Ring Finders and me to help find your lost treasure.
This little adventure started when I got a text message from Chuck on Aug 26th that read “Hi Jim, I lost my wedding ring on Bald Head Island’s east beach last night about an hour after low tide (just when it got dark). I have a very good sense of where it went down but no equipment to search for it before our vacation ends on Saturday. I don’t see BHI on your list of locations, but I’m wondering if you know any detectionists who do work on the island. Thanks for your time!” When someone tells me they lost a ring at low tide, I immediately suspect they were waist to chest deep. Luckily, not in this case though. I responded back to Chuck asking how deep he was and what type ring he lost. Never being to the island, I had no idea what I was up against or how to get there. I contacted 3 other area TRF members, Steven Ray, John Finnerin, and Matt Fry to see what they knew about Bald Head Island. I got enough information from the 3 of them to piece everything together, so when Chuck text me back that he was only ankle deep I had a game plan. I called Chuck and told him I could get an early start the next morning, make the hour plus drive up to the ferry terminal, catch the 7am ferry, and be there before the low tide at 9am. The only thing I needed from him was to pick me up at the island ferry terminal, and take me to where he lost his ring. He readily agreed, so the plan was set.
This morning when the alarm went off at 5am, I realized that now that I’m retired, this is really an un-Godly hour of the day. Nevertheless, the plan worked and Chuck and his father-in-law were sitting in a golf cart (the only 4 wheel transportation on the island) waiting for me when the ferry tied up. Chuck drove us out to the beach access where he lost it, and as we’re walking out to the beach, I asked him how he lost it. He explained that the family was sitting near a sea turtle nest waiting for the hatchlings to make their way out of the nest and head for the ocean. At one point Chuck went to the water’s edge to wash the sand off his hands and when he shook his hands his ring flew off, straight down, and disappeared into the wet sand. Chuck knew exactly where it happened and had a landmark he made up in the dry sand. I turned the Equinox 800 on and went to work, doing 5 parallel grid lines down towards the outgoing tide line. When my lines started getting washed away, I changed to perpendicular grid lines. I started at the point Chuck had showed me and went both east and west expanding the search area. I wasn’t having any luck so I changed to my second machine, which I’ve learned to bring along just in case. I turned the White’s PI on and started at the same point Chuck had originally showed me. I think it was on my 2nd line, I hit a great signal. I dug a couple of scoops, got the target out of the hole and in the scoop, washed the sand out in the surf and there was Chuck’s ring. I did a little dance up towards Chuck and he knew I had it. I let him reach in the scoop and pull it out. It took me at least an extra 30 minutes, because I just missed it on the first pass when I must have zigged instead of zagged, but Chuck’s ring is back where it belongs. Now the family’s drive home will be much more enjoyable.
Chuck – thanks so much for trusting me to help find your lost treasure. Have a safe trip home and take of yourself.