Lost Ring off Balcony … Recovered … Long Beach, CA.
Last week I received a call about 9am from Luis asking me if I could help him find his platinum wedding band. Luis had looked for the ring for a whole day and a half. Then he got online thinking he could buy or rent a metal detector. Finding TheRingFinders directory and he decided to call me. He lives on the third floor of a high rise apartment complex. Standing on his balcony sweating the dust off a cushion, he heard a ping sound but didn’t realize it was his wedding band hitting the floor. A couple minutes later he realized that he was missing his wedding band that he has had been wearing for fifteen years. We discussed the details of the search area and I decided it would be better to wait till 3pm to meet up with him. It sounded like it was possible that the ring could have landed in his neighbor’s the ground floor patio which is about 3 feet larger than the upper floor balconies. We would not be able to search that patio, because neighbors had not returned from their weekend trip.
I had about 5 hours to put together a game plan for the search. Not knowing the location my mind ran through all kind of possibilities. When I got to the building I saw two sets of balconies. One set of had a big garden area with a lawn lawn in front of it and the other had a small garden area with a large asphalt driveway leading down to an underground parking lot. I was hoping the one with the lawn was going to be where Luis lived, because it would be more detector friendly. Well, it was the other area with the small garden. It only took about a half hour to go through it with my detector followed up by crawling around with my pin pointer ( hand held detector ) checking all the hard to get at spots. It’s important to keep the right frame of mind. It’s easy to give up on a search just before the miracle happens. I wasn’t looking forward to checking the underground garage and the drain, covered by a grating that couldn’t be removed.
Luis’s wife Melissa came down to tell us we had permission to get into the neighbors patio. We went into the patio and the first thing I saw was a mass of large potted ferns in corner most probable place for the ring to be. It was also loaded with many dry leaves. It looked like it was going to take some time to do a thorough search. Luis started looking on one side of the patio and I started scanning around the potted ferns using a small 6″ coil on my detector. It was hard to stay positive looking at the mass of ferns. Before starting to look through the fern leaves, I checked against the wall and the miracle happened. I saw the ring hiding in the leaves against the wall. Without touching the ring I took a couple photos of the ring before I called Luis over to see it. Again I don’t know who was happier, me or Luis. ” The ring wasn’t lost, it was just waiting to be found “