how to metal detect gold in water Tag | The Ring Finders

Lost Meteorite Gold Wedding Band in Nanticoke River…Found Near Salisbury, Maryland

  • from Washington (District of Columbia, United States)

Brandon’s Extraordinary Meteorite Gold Wedding Band Recovered from the Nanticoke River

Brandon, Jessica and Family Celebrate with the Meteorite Gold Wedding Band in Hand Once Again!


I received a call from a young lady named Jessica who was calling on behalf of her husband Brandon. She found my information on THE RING FINDERS website, the largest directory of metal detecting specialists in the world!

Brandon was playing water volleyball with family and friends in the Nanticoke River (a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay) when his wedding band went missing. He was certain that the rare and most handsome custom designed meteorite and gold ring slipped off his finger in the salt water.

Jessica had read and viewed some of my work online and had high hopes that perhaps I could help recover this special keepsake from the Nanticoke. We talked for a good while, gathering all the facts necessary to determine whether I could take on the challenge. At the end of our conversation, I accepted the mission!

Two days later, I met up with Brandon and Jessica. I slept overnight close to the river’s shoreline where I would be personally picked up by the couple in their awesome boat. They would then shuttle me from the beach nearest to where I parked my car over to the search site where I would begin my recovery efforts.

It was a beautiful day outside and I couldn’t wait to get in the water! When we arrived at the area where the ring went missing, Brandon and Jessica spent some time showing me all of the landmarks that they took note of before leaving that spot on the day when the ring disappeared into the river. There were three trees that were grouped together in a certain way that was a reminder as to where the volleyball net was set up in the water. There were also some plants and pieces of wood that additionally assisted me so that I had a clear bearing as to where I should concentrate on the search.

Before the couple took me to the area, Brandon put markers in the river which gave me boundaries as to where he thought the ring may have ended up. He was quite clever in constructing poles with golf balls attached to the top of the markers. Each of these poles was 6 feet tall which worked perfectly in the 5 foot depth of water that we were dealing with.

The volleyball net that was played with several days earlier was attached between Brandon’s boat and another family member’s vessel. Brandon, who is an engineer, constructed special anchors for their boats so that they stayed in one place throughout their game time. The net never fell or got stretched too much while playing in the river. Because of this fantastic creation, the couple knew exactly where the boats were tied up and was able to narrow the search parameter quite a bit.

Once we completed all of the intel necessary to begin the search, I gathered up all of my gear: my harness, metal detector, headphones and Xtreme sand scoop and then made my way from the shore out into the water. I was really excited about this challenge. My search zone was about 35 yards (105 feet) by 25 yards (75 feet). We had to deal with this amount of width because the ring could have flown outside of the general area where everybody was playing. One thing that us ring finders experience quite often is that rings can fly pretty far!

I planned this particular early morning time frame based on the tide chart readings for that area that we would be searching. The water level was at its lowest point at the time when I began looking for the ring. Conditions were very good out there with the water only slightly choppy and the temperature was quite warm.

Brandon’s parents arrived at our beach spot sometime around the time that I was entering the water. They hung out and kept their children company. They too were there on the day of the loss of the ring.

My detecting began from the far left side of the rectangle that Brandon and Jessica created for me with the poles. I went from the shore straight out to the end of the parameter and then back again repetitively. I found some coins, many bottle caps, pull tabs and other miscellaneous items at the bottom of the saltwater.

Each time that a target came in range of my detector, I analyzed the item before scooping it up from the sand below. Since this was my first meteorite ring that I was looking for, I wasn’t sure exactly what numbers would appear on my screen, but I kept an open mind to the fact that there could be some iron signals that the sentimental piece of jewelry would give off (meteorite contains iron in it).

After the first couple of hours of my search, I took a break on shore and ate a snack and hydrated myself. I encouraged everyone present that a successful operation was completely obtainable and to not give up hope. With that said, I returned back to the beautiful river to resume my search.

I continued to pull up similar items as I did before the intermission, including an occasional beer can or two. The positive thing was that there was little trash in the midst of the pull tabs, coins and bottle caps. This allowed me to move swiftly through the water and not be preoccupied with examining bogus targets.

As time marched on, I noticed that Brandon was getting concerned that his beloved wedding band would never be seen again. Later that day, he would share those very thoughts with me. I knew that we had a great chance of finding the ring. However, it was a matter of having patience, determination and perseverance. Some had concerns that the ring could have been pushed out with the tide. I squashed that theory and only spoke hope and encouragement into the situation.

Perhaps another hour and a half went by when I finished the entire parameter that we were working with. After Brandon finished throwing a fishing net off of his boat to see if he could catch some small bait (minnows) for his own fishing ventures, I gave my latest update to everyone. I told the family that it was time to look passed the area that they thought the ring may have sunk to the bottom and extend the search frame by another 10 yards or so. It was a good thing that I strategized that because Brandon’s father agreed to the plan because he thought that perhaps the volleyball net was set up a bit farther down than where the end markers were placed.

Approximately 15 minutes or so into the extended portion of the search zone, after getting multiple target signals and only coming up with trash and random coins, I got another potential signal that was coming in the number range that I had been hoping for. There was also a “scratchy” tone that I was listening to in my headphones. It appeared that there was some iron connected with this non-ferrous target. I didn’t give it much thought or added anticipation that it could be the ring, only because there were so many targets that were in that range and they mostly came out as bottle caps. I placed the scoop down below and after a few attempts to bring up the item, my eyes did a double take! At the bottom of the scoop, as the sand fell through the Xtreme Scoop’s titanium holes, I was left with seeing an extremely handsome piece of yellow gold which surrounded some type of rock inlay around the middle of the entire band! I did it! I found Brandon’s ring! It was his lost ring! I hardly could contain myself! It was such a grand moment for me! I couldn’t wait to surprise Brandon, Jessica and their parents! The couple was definitely sinking in despair (though they tried to hold on tight with whatever hope they could conjure up during those agonizing hours leading up to my discovery)! The search was over! I pulled the unique and rare wedding band from the bottom of the river and a very special story connected with this ring would be preserved for generations to come!

Ring Finder, Brian Rudolph and Brandon Celebrate the Amazing Recovery Results!

A Rainbow Appears in the Sky Following the Amazing Search and Recovery Efforts as Brandon and Jessica Return to the Docks. A Sign of Peace and Relief!

It would be impossible with words to share how very surprised and happy Brandon was when I shocked him out in the water that afternoon! The rest of his family was blown away, as well! It was an incredible experience for all of us and I couldn’t have been more happy for the couple! Brandon went straight for their cooler that was on board their boat and distributed beverages so we could make a toast to my fantastic finish! Then, we said our goodbyes to the parents, climbed aboard Brandon and Jessica’s sea vessel and headed back to the section of beach where I was originally picked up.
The celebration did not end back at the search site! After I packed up the car with all of the detector equipment, I was invited to meet up with the couple and their parents over by a local restaurant where we continued our party over food and drinks!

Brian and the Gang Partying Over the Successful Return of Brandon’s Incredible Custom Meteorite Gold Ring!

I will never forget how much fun that was from the moment that I boarded the couple’s boat along the beach shore until I said my final goodbyes to Brandon and Jessica! After treating me to a scrumptious lunch and fine company, they even went to the farthest extent of blessing me with a parting gift just to say thank you in one more way. With a big smile on his face, Brandon brought over to my car the four poles that were used to keep my grid lines within the parameter that I was working with! “Here, these are for you. Perhaps one day they’ll help you find someone else’s ring that might get lost in the water!” I gladly accepted the gift, thanked him several times over and then we parted ways. Since that day, those four poles have assisted me in successfully finding other lost rings for people that have had to deal with water searches just as Brandon hoped they would be helpful in assisting others with similar predicaments! I always think of that very sweet couple every time I utilize them! Thank you Brandon and Jessica for finding me through THE RING FINDERS website! I am so grateful to have been a part of such a happy story!

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