As Ring Finders, we’ve all received those frantic calls asking for help to locate a lost “very” sentimental item (ring, necklace, bracelet, etc.). We’ve also experienced the happy returns with handshakes, big bear hugs, and laughs. And more times than not, we’ve watched those big tears running down cheeks, including our own sometimes. We also have those returns, for one reason or another that we’ll never forget.
This return happened in August 2023 when I found and returned my 220th item, which happened to be a lady’s wedding band. It started with a mother and her two daughters having a girl’s vacation at the beach. The mother was in the ocean and was knocked over by a wave. Knowing what that ring meant to their mother, the daughters contacted me. I was fortunate enough to find it and get it back on the finger it belonged on in pretty quick fashion. And oh yes, there was all the excitement, scream, hugs and tears with the return. It was a moment to remember!
Yesterday, just shy of 3 months I got a text saying, “Jim, I’m super sorry to bother you. But a couple months ago you found my mom’s wedding ring in the sand. My sister and I were so happy. I think you told my sister that we were number 220 of finds for you. We are going to get a tattoo and I just want to verify that our number is in fact 220. Is that something you are able to do for me?” I verified it for her, and she thanked me. I also asked her for a picture of her tattoo, and she agreed. Today I got the picture. I asked her what it meant to her, her sister and their mother to get the ring back. Here’s her response – “Let’s see what finding that ring meant to my family…. everything. Memories of a lifetime. From my parents dating and living the “easy” life to a marriage of 42 years! From the fights to the hugs, from the late nights out to the late nights up with kids. It’s a symbol of strength and promise. A promise that your life will not go unseen because I’ll be by your side through it all. So, to some it may be a ring, but it is so much more of family life wrapped in that ring.”
I received a text message from Liz about 10 am on Saturday, Sep 5th, saying, “Hi my name is Liz and I’m at OIB. My husband lost his wedding band in the surf yesterday afternoon. We have a metal detector but haven’t had any luck. Wondering if you might be able to help?” I replied asking her to call me. When she called, I asked her where he lost it. She explained that when he lost it he was about waist deep at high tide. I asked her the time and she said around 3 p.m. I looked at the tide table and saw high tide was around 6 p.m. yesterday, so if he lost it around 3 p.m. then he was about mid tide. I told her I’d be there between 11 and 11:15, which I had to adjust to 11:25 once I got my gear and hit the road. On my way, I thought that if he lost it at waist deep about mid tide, then the ring should be at the low tide line.
When I got to their house, I met Liz and a few family members. Liz walked me out to the beach and said her husband, Bobby, had told her that he was west of their house on the beach. Liz set me up behind the neighbor’s house and said Bobby was from this point – that way, as she’s pointing down the beach. “That way” was a long stretch of beach, so it was time to get started. I grabbed my PI and backed up from her starting point and started a perpendicular grid above the mid tide line seaward to about waist deep. I did that grid search from my starting point to the 4th house west. I wasn’t finding anything, and reached the point of wondering if I was in the right spot, and/or going deep enough to search. I took a quick break and reassessed my thoughts about where it should be. With the information I was given, I was positive his wedding band should be around the low tide line. Did I just miss it, swing left instead of right? I grabbed my Equinox 800 and started a cross grid search starting about shin deep at the low tide line. As I’m working up the slope of the beach I got a solid 15 on the VDI (visual display indicator). This was in the range of numbers for a man’s gold wedding band. I dug a scoop of sand, had the target, and rinsed the sand out of the scoop in the surf. When I checked the scoop, I could see Bobby’s gold wedding band peeking through the shells from the bottom of the scoop. I had definitely missed it on my first pass. Liz wasn’t out on the beach when I found it, but one of her family members called her, telling her I was done. When Liz came back on the beach, another family member was able to get a video of Liz’s response. Liz was trying so hard to hold back the tears, but she was so excited. Unfortunately, Bobby was playing golf so he wasn’t there to share the excitement, but I’m sure he was happy to get his wedding band back where it belongs.
Liz – Thank you for trusting me to help you find Bobby’s ring. Enjoy the rest of your vacation with your family and have a safe trip home.