I got an phone call the Monday before Christmas from Richard. He and I go back nearly forty years. “Are you still doing that “Ring Finders Thing”? This was how the conversation started. Richard and his son Rick are owners and operators of a local plumbing company. Richard went on to explain that his son lost his wedding band the night before while fixing some broken and frozen water lines. He told me that Rick played it off as an “Oh Well!”, but Richard could tell that it hurt him to lose. We set a time to meet at the church that afternoon. His last words to me were “Bring your rubber boots.”
Boy, Richard was not kidding about the boots. There was a 60′ open trench exposing the water lines. On each side of this trench was a pile of the hand dug mud, clay and dirt. There was a pump in the trench removing the water to allow an easier search. Richard also explained about another area about 40 yards away where they were using an excavator. The ground between the trench and the area that they unloaded the machinery was chewed beyond recognition by the tracks. I had Richard and Pastor Danny rub there left earlobe and say a quick prayer for luck as I started the search. I searched the grounds between the trench and the excavator first, as I waited for the pumps to do their job. False signals were ever present. I was happy to have the discriminating power of the CTX 30-30. After 15 to 20 minutes of working that side of the trench and its’ diggings, I moved around to the other side. I worked the trench and the diggings without the all familiar “Gold Tone” from the Minelab. I started working a small patch of brush just outside of the dirt pile. I got a crisp signal that looked to be a pull tab in the response, but investigated it anyway. “Whoop, there it is”. There in a clump of mud was Ricky’s wedding band. Richard snatched the ring from my hand and crushed me with a big hug. He and Pastor Danny let out a great big “whoop” and then it happened. “The Ring Dance”. Richard’s smile turned into a quivering chin and a tear swelled under his eye. But big boys don’t cry… It must have been something in his eye.
Richard said he was going to give the ring to Rick for Christmas. I reminded him that Rick’s wife might decide to replace it for a gift and that he needed to let her in on the idea. Richard couldn’t stand it though, and wrapped it up and presented it to Rick that afternoon. It was a rewarding hunt for me to be able to help friends, as most of the time I am getting calls from complete strangers.
I received an email as well as a phone call from Rick. “I just lost my wedding band in the surf in Myrtle Beach”. I was finishing up with a customer of my business. I just happen to have my detector in the truck and told Rick I would be there in 30 minutes. It is always great for us when you can meet somebody on site that was affiliated with the loss. It helps so much with information and location. We don’t have to be mind readers. Many times we are operating with phone calls, Google Earth and a persons memory. The more somebody pays attention to their surroundings at the time of the loss helps in all cases.
I met Rick and his daughter at the beach in front of their resort. We walked to the area that he lost his wedding band and Rick told me he paced it off from the Lifeguard stand. 14 paces this way, 20 paces that way and Rick announced that he was standing on his ring. Rick stared down into the knee deep water and just could not see his wedding band. The band of love that his wife Laura had placed on his finger years before. Rick was so confident that he was standing within feet of his ring. I fired up my CTX 30-30, had everybody rub their left earlobe, and began to search. Rick, and another well wisher, had become so planted in this spot that I had to ask them politely to give me some room to work. I worked a grid of 30 feet by 30 feet for 10 minutes or so and was becoming frustrated with no signal to my ears. I asked Rick how the ring came off his finger, and he explained that his back was to the water when a wave smacked him from behind. I thought about how the ring would have traveled with the wave for several feet before settling into the sand. I moved to the water’s edge of a dropping tide and moved just a few feet to hear that beautiful Minelab gold tone. I approached Rick and held out my sand scoop to let him pluck his white gold wedding band from its bottom. “No way… You found it”! shouted Rick and his well wishing friend. Within 30 minutes we replaced Rick’s look of worry with a huge smile. Rick placed the ring on his finger and just stared at it for a moment. (“The Ring Dance”)
As Ring Finders, we come to a search equipped with the tools of our craft. But, The first tool in the search is the information we get from the person that lost their precious belongings. When you lose something, when you can, pay attention to everything that is around you. Find landmarks, place a marker, pace off distances and try to get us within feet of your treasure. The person that lost something is the first tool in any search. Great job Rick, in putting me in the right location. All the best to you and your family. And thank you for the generous reward.
I don’t know what it is, but we males of the species always want to find new and exciting ways to ask the girl of our dreams to marry us. This ritual was no different for Patrick and the future Mrs. Kim.
I got a phone call from a very upset young man. Patrick asked if I could help him find his fiance’s engagement ring that was lost on the beach the night before. I headed to the house to get my metal detecting gear and headed his way. Meeting Patrick and his lovely fiance at the beach about an hour later, I began with all the usual questions about how the ring was lost. Slowly it begins dawning on me that Patrick had buried it. Staring at Patrick in disbelief I could see the look of embarrassment creeping onto his face. It seems that Patrick’s plan was to hide the engagement ring in the sand that night. He marked the spot with a plastic shovel. He called the future Mrs. Kim, Jennifer, to the beach from their hotel room. Patrick asked her the million dollar question. He handed Jennifer the shovel and pointed to two piles of sand next to him. On one pile was etched the word “yes” and the other “no”. Jennifer picked the “Yes” pile and began to dig. Jennifer did not know that under the sand she was looking for a white gold band with a .5 caret diamond still in the jewelers box. In the darkness of the night Jennifer dug… and dug… and dug. Patrick joined her in a panic search. From 11 o clock until 4 in the morning they dug. The tide finally ran them out of the area. The next morning Patrick bought a metal detector from the local everything store. Patrick and Jennifer searched for a few hours to no avail and called me. I did a small grid search of the area and pulled a few junk pieces from the sand. Patrick had the wedding band in a similar box. Patrick asked if I wanted him to place it on the sand to give me a read. I was surprised to get almost no signal on my CTX. I looked at the box and discovered that it was made of tin under all the fabric. This box was masking the signal big time. I was soon making critical adjustments to my equipment and re-searched. I expanded the grid twice more. Patrick and I began discussing some very real possibilities, none of which he really wanted to hear. I told Patrick and Jennifer to talk with the Hotel management of the four closest hotels. Also to start monitoring Craig’s List. I asked him about insurance. “No”. I asked him if he owned a home. “Yes”. I told him that home owners insurance might cover the loss, and suggested a police report. Patrick agreed, and he and Jenn headed to motel management and to call the police dept. I continued searching the beach listening for any whisper. I expanded the grid twice more and turned off the machine. I called Patrick on his cell phone to let him know I was shutting down. He told me he was on his way to the police dept. It seems that a couple walking the beach 4 blocks away had discovered a treasure box with a diamond ring in it. The high tide picked up the box and carried it away the night before. Can you imagine? WOW! This very honest couple turned the ring over to the beach patrol police and the police took it to the station waiting for just the right people to call. I did not personally find this ring but, I will take a win anyway it comes. The smiles on, Future, Mr. and Mrs. Kim’s faces tell me that they agree. Patrick and Jennifer, good luck in your new future. Patrick, no embarrassment my friend, she won’t soon forget this. Every ring has a story attached to it. Your ring started with a story. Traveling mercies back to Georgia. Thanks for reading this fun adventure story.