Lost Gold wedding ring recovered 20 years later, Lake James, Angola Indiana
Last month, Corey contacted me after reading about a guy from The Ringfinders, me, recovering a lost ring for someone that lives on the same chain of lakes that he does. We spoke and he mentioned that the lost item was his late father’s original gold wedding ring, lost many years ago. He said it was certainly in the water, near their pier in probably 3 to 4 feet of water.
Fast forward about a month, we discussed the details further and we were able to finally set a date and time for the recovery attempt.
After some mild rain storms cleared out, I arrived all prepared for the search. Initially he mentioned a rather small search area, but this grew somewhat as he pointed out the potential loss areas.
Immediately, I was getting signal after signal, from large amounts of metallic debris, filling my headphones with all kinds of sounds. I quickly covered the area initially for any obvious clean and loud targets, removing several coins, pull tabs, pull rings and bottle caps.
Next, I slowed down to do a more methodical grid-like search, finding several more targets amongst the iron/metallic debris around the pier.
I covered the area from several directions, moving slightly outside the area where he thought the ring may be, just in case.
It was thought that his dad had lost the ring either cranking the boat-lift wheel, or doing something around the pontoon boat that was on the lift (lift no longer there).
Corey said that his dad even tried finding his lost ring with some sort of metal detector that he had for locating water pipes (when the lake homes were just starting to be built there). This home was built around 1936. Corey also tried using that same detector device to find the ring in the past, with no luck.
Being rather tenacious, I searched and searched for hours and ended up digging every target I heard, even the “iffy ones”, just in case again. There was one particular piece of junk i dug, a large perforated tin can lid that was over a foot deep. This deeper junk target will come into play later in this story. I scoured under and around the pier posts and had to contend with digging/scooping in lots of weeds towards the deeper end of the pier. If it was in there, I was going to find it!
It was going on 3 1/2 hours now, long beyond the half hour or hour I had planned to search. I had already said “I’ll do one more grid” to myself several times over. At about the 4 hour mark, not having eaten lunch, hungry, thirsty, skeptical and ready to call it, I told myself “ok, one more absolutely last sweep”! In the deeper water, near where the back of the pontoon would’ve been I got a good sounding target in the edge of the temporary crater where I had scooped the big tin can lid. I scooped out a big heavy blob of weeds and muck, slopped it into my floating sifter and checked it with the pinpointer. The pinpointer rang out quickly, so it definitely wasn’t something small like a penny or a fishing sinker this time. I swirled and sloshed the sifter around some more, poked the pinpointer back in it and as the muddy water began to turn clear, I could see the wonderful color of gold and the round shape of a ring’s edge showing itself!
Got it! This ring had been in the water for the past 20 years now! That large tin can lid was right under where the ring had settled and due to being so large, it “masked out” the ring from being seen initially.
It’s always an amazing feeling of satisfaction when there is so much sentimental value involved. I worked hard for this one, but the persistence paid off.