Iowa Tag | The Ring Finders


  • from Waverly (Iowa, United States)

A fun day on a pontoon ends up with a wedding ring at the bottom of Clear Lake in Iowa. After reading other finds Margi gave me a call and asked if I was willing to come look for her ring.  I was more than willing except for one problem. I had a broken toe and was currently in a boot cast. After a visit to the doctor that week, I was told that I could start the transition away from the boot and into an ankle brace.

The ring was some where by the beach and swim area of the State Park and Campground. We made plans and made a reservation at the campground for the following weekend and meetup with Margi and her husband Dan at 8am on Saturday.  When Saturday came we met and walked to the beach area. There was a large swim area marked by buoys and boats would anchor just outside the swim area and have fun. In the summer afternoon this would attract dozens of boats and hundreds of people.  They had anchored the pontoon and proceeded to jump in the water and play.  They actually had a photo of her jumping in the water. Studying the photo, you could clearly see the ring on her finger and you could see the left 2 buoys as you were facing the shore. To give a little perspective, we were 400 feet from shore and only 4 foot of water.  Using the buoys as our reference point we started searching. After 3 hours of searching we found many bottle caps, a 2020 penny, a 1966 dime, an old ring type pull tab from the 1970’s, and a top of a beverage can that was opened with a churchkey so dating prior to mid 60’s. Boats and people were starting to come so we had to suspend the search but I assured them that I would be back the next morning.  During our time together I found out that the ring had not left her finger for 30 years. Dan saved up for 3 years and had it custom made so it had a lot of meaning.

That afternoon, my wife Jeni and I regrouped. I went and bought a waterproof case for my phone so I could take it out in the water with me. The next morning at 7am, Jeni and I went to the beach and we went back out using the GPS coordinates of the photo. We searched what I thought was the correct place for another couple hours and found more junk. At this point, I was needing more sun screen so we went back into the beach. I ended up downloading a GPS app to my phone and put the coordinates of the photo into the app and when we went back out I was able to stand at the exact location of the photo.  The thing was at this new location which was left of the buoys which did not make sense as we have focused all our time right of the buoys that the photo clearly showed.  Jeni stood at that new location and I used her as a reference. I started to scan the area and within 5 minutes I got a hit at a location that was consistent with where she would have jumped in. I scooped and there it was less than 10 feet from where my gps said the photo was taken. I turned to Jeni and I could not even speak and she saw the look on my face and asked what was wrong. I was able to get the words out that I found it. After finding so many bottle caps it was just unbelievable.

We made our way back to shore at which point I gave Jeni the ring as I was shaking. We went back to our camper decided to shower to wash off all the sand and change before we called Margi.  We gave Margi a call on speaker and I explained that we had been searching since 7am and we were going to pack up but then asked if she wanted to come get this rock before we left. There were tears over the phone which made Jeni and I start to cry. Margi and her daughter came and we reunited her with her beautiful ring. It was a fun weekend that ended with so much joy.

Lost Ring Council Bluffs, IA

  • from Omaha (Nebraska, United States)

My daughter received a text one evening from her High School drama teacher, he had lost his wedding ring and was looking for anyone with a metal detector.  My daughter then turned to me and asked me if I would help him.  Of course I said yes, because that is what we do.  She replied back and arrangements were made for another student to come by at 6 am the next morning to lead me to Mr. M’s.

They were in the middle of building a new set for the next production at the high school so he only had until 7am before he had to be at the school for the kids.  I figured we would have enough time for him to show me the area he may have lost it.   It was still dark when we arrived, enough time to have a cup of coffee and get a little background information of what happened.  Turns out he was doing some clean-up in his garden when he noticed it was gone.

First light we went out to the yard, he lost it while pulling old plants and walking them a couple hundred feet to a dumpster.  He and his wife were up until 2 am with flashlights digging thru the dumpster and searching the yard looking for it.  It was when he walked to the middle of the yard and said I pulled the tomato plants and shook the dirt off of them here when I realized that would be my starting point.

I gave my pin-pointer to them to probe the flower garden, put my headphones on, and powered up.  I took 5 steps and had my first signal, used my detectors pin pointer looked down and I could see his ring.  When I looked over to them they all had their back’s turned towards me.  I said, “Hey Mr M.”   He turned around with a puzzled look on his face and walked over.  I looked down and said what’s that.  He looked down and didn’t see anything.  I moved my foot so my toe was pointing to it and said right there.   A grin came across his face when he quickly reached down and snatched up his ring!


Lost Ring in Council Bluffs, IA found after 3 months

  • from Omaha (Nebraska, United States)

In late June, I responded to a Craigslist offering my assistance in locating a ring lost in a local park.  I received a response stating that they had already searched the area with a metal detector with no luck other than the usual trash and a little bit of change.   I had never given much thought to hunting that park, because a few years ago much of it was ripped up and completely redone.  I put this one off in the back of my mind.

Until this weekend, every time I drove by that newly remodeled park this summer I noticed that there was quite a bit of activity as of late.  I decided to have a look around, Saturday I found some loose change and a little silver ring.  My wife was with me this trip and I managed to put off her boredom for a little over an hour.

Sunday afternoon I had a chance to get away to take another look.  After about 2 hours, with nothing much to show but a little change, I received a signal that had a rather low id (normally trash) but it was a good solid signal.  I took my pin-pointer out and waved it over the spot and received a solid tone (metal close to the surface.)

I pulled the grass back and immediately recognized that glimmer as a white gold ring……I thought to myself, what would the odds be of someone else losing a ring in that same area.  Shortly after getting home, I pulled up that email I had saved months earlier and replied to it asking for a description of the ring that was lost.  From the description I received it was pretty obvious…..we had a match.

Tonight I met and returned the ring to Brittney and found that it was lost while putting lotion on a little one while at an outdoor concert.   She thought it was gone forever….

Lost Ring Found… In Iowa City, Iowa


This young man lost his deceased father’s ring on July 3rd at a park in Iowa City. It was hot and humid that day and his hands were sweating. He was on a hiking trail and tossed something in the weeds beside the trail and you guessed it his ring went too. It was just dark enough that he couldn’t find it.

He went back last Sunday to search for it but the weeds were about chest high and very thick. That’s when he realized he needed help.

So I met him at the park today July 10th and he took me to the location where he lost it. Luckily he left the item he threw into the weeds where it landed so it marked the spot.

I did about eight passes through the weeds with nothing to show for it but a buried can lid. So we did a reinactment with a junk ring I brought and I searched the area where it landed without any success.

I then made a pass further over from where my junk ring landed and went beyond the real high weeds and got a sweet 12-47 reading on the E-Trac.

I used my X-1 probe to locate the target under the weeds and up came his father’s ring. The look on his face was priceless. I was so glad I could help this young man out.

Chris is right this is a game of inches. Happy hunting everyone and good luck on your searches.

Norm Slaymaker