overland park Tag | The Ring Finders

Ice Cold Gold – Overland Park Kansas Gold Ring Recovery

  • from Olathe (Kansas, United States)


Ring found by High Plains Prospectors, Overland Park, KS

Earlier this morning we received a call from a gentleman who had lost a ring that was given to him by his late father. He had just pulled up to a friend’s house and walking up to the door as he put his keys in his pocket. The weather just turned and things in the Kansas City area had just gotten a little frostier. As he pulled his hand from his pocket, he heard a clink and immediately knew he had lost the ring. It was getting dark and he but his friend spent significant time looking for the ring unsuccessfully with flashlights and had the same luck the next day during the day. His friend had heard of our services and passed along our contact information.

We sat an appointment with him for later that afternoon when things warmed up a little. We arrived at his friends place and he met us out front. Scrap Iron and I unloaded our Garrett AT Pro and Minelab Safari metal detectors and immediately got to work. He knew the general vicinity along the walkway to the house where he suspected the ring to be so we started there. Scrap Iron started at one end of the path and I started at the other.

Within seconds Scrap Iron had a good mid-tone signal from his AT Pro, kneeled down and came back up with the ring. I had only made around a dozen swings with my metal detector myself. The owner was stoked and surprised at the same time. They had searched that very area meticulously with their eyes and found nothing.

Cold weather means shrunken fingers. Shrunken fingers lead to loose rings and loose rings result in rings on our telephone. It happens this time every year. Especially as people are raking and doing yard work. We were glad to be able to provide our services to this man and help recover this ring which had so much sentimental value. Not to mention the actual value of the large gold ring with 7 huge diamonds! We are also very fortunate to have the best equipment available to support our services.

Lost Family Heirloom Recovered by High Plains Prospectors’ Recovery Team

  • from Olathe (Kansas, United States)

Just before Labor Day 2014 we received a call from a man named Brent who wanted to rent a metal detector.  Brent was a local businessman and volunteer football coach for a middle school football team.  Ritually he removes his wrist watch and ring and puts them in his pocket during practice.  He had remembered taking his watch from his pocket to check the time multiple times during the practice.  He suspected he had lost a ring while coaching a local middle school football team.  His plan was to rent a metal detector and detect the practice field.  I told him no problem.  We rent metal detectors to people looking for all sorts of things such as lost keys, cell phones, boundary markers, pipes, lawn sprinklers, and of course rings.  This ring, however, was not just an ordinary ring.  The ring had belonged to Brent’s father it was 14 karat gold and was sat with a large diamond.  The father had a tremendous value both sentimentally and financially.  We’re not typically open on Sundays.  My experience, however, in the recovery of rings is this:  There is a direct reflection in successful recoveries and the speed in which you get on the recovery job.  Since this was a special item to Brent, we made special arrangements for him to pick up the metal detector that Sunday.

Two days later Brent’s wife returned the metal detector.  Her demeanor was enough to tell us they had not recovered the ring.  Needless to say, both her and Brent were seriously bummed.  Brent had spent several hours scouring the entire practice field trying to find the ring with no luck.  Having metal detected the places he spends most of the time during practice multiple times, he was seriously questioning whether he lost his ring on the field or somewhere else completely.
The day after they returned the metal detector I called Brent up to discuss his loss.  At this point, I believe he had accepted the loss and decided he would just have to turn it into insurance.  Although it wouldn’t be the ring his father had given him, at least he would not take a financial hit too boot.  That is when I told him about our recovery services.  Having spent the better part of two very hot days looking for the lost ring, I could sense his skepticism when I discussed our services.  I let him know that it was not uncommon for people to rent a detector and have no luck finding their ring.  Then, subsequently hire us to search only to end in a successful recovery.  The reason is experience.  There are so many competing signals scattered across nearly every square foot of any public place.  Anyone who is inexperienced at metal detecting will investigate every signal because they do not know what to listen and look for in the metal detector.  Pull tabs, pieces of “can slaw” (aluminum cans that are hit by a mower), bottle caps, and even targets that most metal detectorists normally want to hear, can create an “analysis paralysis” for an inexperienced metal detectorist.  After a few hours (yes, I said hours) the person will either begin losing hope and dismiss signals or spend the whole time chasing signals an experienced detectorist would not give a second’s thought. If the person doesn’t almost kill themselves doing lunges as they investigate each target, they will likely fatigue mentally and abandon the search altogether.

I informed Brent that we had a lot of luck finding rings that other people miss with a metal detector.  He  was intrigued and decided  it was worth it to him to have Scrap Iron and I come out and see if we can find the ring.  We arrived and he showed us where practice took place.  He explained where most of his time was concentrated. We had  arrived after school was out and be finished before practice started.  So, with only a couple hours at hand, we were pressed on time.  Before we got started Brent asked how we bill for our services.  I told him about the Ring Finder’s policy where we work on a “rewards basis”.  This means that the person who lost the ring sets the price.  After some quick mental calculation on his end, we determined a fair rate and shook hands.  The beauty for the ring owner is that if we don’t find it, there is quite often no charge.  “I told him our success rate is over 95% and we don’t like to lose…and I suspect the other 5% situations, the ring was not lost where the person may have thought it was.” Brent left to go prepare for practice and we got to work searching for the ring.

I told him, “Our success rate is over 95% and we don’t like to lose…and I suspect in a large portion of the unsuccessful 5% of the situations, the ring was not lost where the person may have thought it was.”

Scrap Iron and I took a quick lay of the land and decided our hunting method.  The practice field was laid out in an L-shaped pattern.  I would hunt the vertical part of the L and Scrap Iron would hit the lower/horizontal end, criss-crossing where the two met.  After about 40 minutes of metal detecting I had found only a handful of pull tabs, some aluminum pieces, a couple quarters and a dime (okay so the money was not anywhere near the type of signal of the ring, but I wasn’t about to let that money just lay there :).  Then, in the background I hear a quick little crow whistle, a “kaw kaw” whistle very familiar in my group of friends.  It had been used for years to get the attention of one another at ball games, bars, or hunting grounds.  When I heard it, I knew what had happened.  I glanced at Scrap Iron who was probably 30-yards from me in an area that I had come very close to covering in my portion of the grid but had apparently missed by only inches.  He was holding up a large shiny ring and wearing a huge smile.  Had he not been there criss crossing the areas where my grid overlayed his, we may very well have missed this ring.

I went over and looked at the ring.  It certainly looked like the one he described.  I picked up my phone and asked Brent how far out he was.  He said he was only a few minutes out.  In a humorous tone I asked, “How would you like to come and try to positively identify this ring we found.”


He chuckled, “You guys…”.  He was in total disbelief we had found the ring.  “I will be right there and I will bring my checkbook!”

He showed up a few minutes later, said it was the right ring and put it on his finger.  He was grinning ear to ear.  We chatted for a while and told him where we found it.  He had thought he metal detected that area.  I told him that I thought I did too, but it was Scrap Iron who found it.  He thanked us for our work and said he was glad to pay the finders fee for people who were willing to put everything on the line and start a business like ours.  Both parties left feeling pretty good about the transaction.

Gold Earring Recovery Olathe, Kansas

  • from Olathe (Kansas, United States)

– November 2013

Click Here to See Short Video

Click Here to See Short Video

Although finding lost jewelry is not all about getting on the job quickly, on this particular job we spent more time preparing to find the ring than we did actually searching for it.  We received a call from a lady who had lost an earring.  Fortunately for us, it was a large loop earring and would sound off much like a normal ring.  Ironically, she had actually lost it on our property.  We operate a large dog boarding facility with a 13 acre members-only dog park with a few hundred members.  She had been walking her pooch when she realized she was missing an earring.  Luckily, she had a vague idea of where she may have been when it was lost.  However, 13 acres is a large property and if she wasn’t right, this would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Scrap Iron and I grabbed our gear and we went to work.  Fortunately she was right, and we we picked the right place to start, and the ring recovery Gods had been smiling down upon me lately.  We found it in about 2 minutes…before I even had a chance to turn on the camera!  Found it with the Garrett AT Pro. This was the 4th gold piece we had recovered for customers within just a couple weeks!

Hopefully you can keep all of your bling on your person.  But, if you are ever in the need of someone to help you find a lost piece of jewelry, and you are in the Kansas City area, look us up.  If you are not in the KC area, give us a jingle anyway, we know people all over the country and can put you in touch with someone who can help you out.

P.S. Yes, it is an earring but she put them both on her finger to show the camera.

Another Quick Ring Recovery – Garmin Campus

  • from Olathe (Kansas, United States)

IMG_3505IMG_3504 Our latest ring recovery was another quick success story.  One afternoon we received a call from a gentleman who worked at the Garmin world headquarters, which is just down the road from our shop.  You see, Garmin fosters a very active lifestyle for their employees.  They have a jogging trail, strength training, group bike rides, kickball, and they even have a community fresh vegie garden on the campus.  This gentleman had been playing football over their lunch break.  As he stretched out to receive a pass, his ring flew off his hand.  Fortunately for us, he knew approximately where he was when it happened.   He and a group of friends had looked for the ring with no avail.  He called us and within 10 minutes we were there, on site, looking for the ring.

I had been having a fairly good run of ring recoveries lately so Scrap Iron handed me the AT Pro and said, “Go for it.”  He hit the outskirts of where the guy said he lost the ring.  I dove right in the middle and began to mentally grid the site then I began meticulously detecting back and forth in the area which was roughly 20 yards square.  Fortunately for us, the folks at Garmin are very clean people and there was very little trash to contend with.  After only about 2 laps back and forth, I got a good signal.  It is funny how finding a ring for someone works.  There is a reason gold get’s the nickname “bling”.  I mean, the stuff really does bling…especially in the sunlight. Typically you get a signal and simply look down and see the ring. Rarely do I ever have to dig the ground and the ring almost always shows up visually before I even bend down to pick it up.  I always wonder how they missed it with their naked eyes.  But, they don’t.  Although you can certainly find your ring using just your eyes, a metal detector helps because it can tell you where you need to focus those visual efforts.  This vastly speeds up recovery time.

Once I got the signal for the ring I looked down and lo and behold there was the ring.   I chuckled, looked up at the man, smiled and said, “Here ya go sir.  We found it.”  He was ecstatic.  He took a picture of me with my detector and I asked that he pose for a shot with me.  He obliged.  We shook hands and parted ways.  The agreed rate was $40…not a bad rate for a total of about 20 minutes of work, drive time included.  We loaded up the truck and headed to our favorite lunch spot for a bite to eat courtesy of our most recent ring recovery effort.

A Needle in a Haystack – Diamond and Platinum Stud Earring Recovery in Overgrown Backyard

  • from Olathe (Kansas, United States)

Our most recent recovery job

One early summer afternoon the phone rang.  Scrap Iron answered and I listened to the conversation.  A lady was calling about a lost piece of jewelry.  Cool, I thought, another recovery job.  I really like those.  They give us a reason to get out of the office and into the field.  Plus, my recovery rate had been really good as of late…even in sticky situations.  Most recently with an underwater recovery of a wedding ring under a bridge, in a large un-metal detectable arboretum.  As Scrap Iron wrapped up the call he swiveled his chair around and looked at me.  I smiled, “Recovery job?”

He wasn’t smiling, “This may be a tough one,” he said.  He relayed her story.  Apparently the woman had been mowing her lawn on a riding lawn mower.  Riding lawn mowers serve one purpose:  To mow huge lawns.  This was about a 2-3 acre lot.  She had finished a large portion of the yard and decided to head towards the rear of the property to tackle the more difficult portion.  This part of the lawn was a little more grown in than the rest.  A large, heavily grown in, unused garden sat very close to the Northwestern edge of the property. Between it and the fence was a narrow strip of lawn just large enough for the riding lawn mower to mow  a clear path.  The western fence row was being crowded by trees and shrubs from the neighbor’s yard, which had not been maintained.  This left branches of various bushes hanging over onto the narrow strip between the fence and the garden.

Since it was only one tiny strip the lady decided to forge through and simply brush the branches out of her way as she quickly mowed the strip of grass.  As she darted through the branches the unthinkable happened.  The branches fought back.  She pressed through as the branches wrapped around her neck simultaneously stripping her left ear of a 1 karat diamond and platinum stud earring.  As Scrap Iron told the story, the smile fell from my face.  “Stud earring?”  I asked.  “Lawn mower?” “2 acre lawn?”  “Yeah, this may be a tough one,” I agreed.

You see, any metal detectorist knows that finding a small stud earring is no easy task.  The majority of the earring is typically a gem.  Gems are not metallic.  Metal detectors do not pick them up.  The remainder of the earring is composed of very little metal…wire basically, and not much of it.  Hardly any surface area and very little density.  They are uber difficult to pick up with any metal detector.  However, when someone loses something of value (sentimental or cash) and calls you to help them find it, you have to give it a shot.  Besides, we we have top of the line metal detectors and our recent recovery track record had been great. The Garrett AT Gold is specifically made to find small pieces of metal.  We took it, the AT Pro and a Tesoro Lobo (another formidable small nugget finder).  Still, this would be a challenging job.

A close up of the large diamond earring.

We arrived on the property and met the husband.  He relayed the story again and showed us where they suspected the earring was.  Fortunately for us they had a good idea of (about) where the earring had been stripped from her ear.  It was an area about 40 feet by 10-15 feet at the thickest end.  Fortunately they had the other earring.  This allowed us to do an air test to see how the earring would  sound on our metal detectors.  This is where the task began to seem near impossible.  On all of the detectors, the earring rang up like a very small piece of foil and you had to be almost right on top of it to get a reading.  The irregularity of what little metal there was caused the machine’s signals to bounce around a little.

Now, if you are out in the middle of the desert, slowly working your way around listening for every small hint of a signal while looking for small gold nuggets, you realize how hard it is to find small pieces of metal like this.  Discrimination is virtually impossible.  But in a lot located in the middle of the city that has been occupied for 100+ years, it was virtually impossible.  Just like in the deser scenario, you would have to look at every little signal…and there were plenty of them. The property owner had already rented a metal detector and searched.  The detector they rented was a very low-end model.  It did not even register the earring they still had.  That is why they called us.  There were signals everywhere.  This was going to be a tough job indeed.

Scrap Iron and I spent about 45 minutes searching the suspected area with no avail.  I even resorted to crawling on my hands and knees with my Pro Pointer hoping to pick up a signal with this method. No luck and it killed my knees.  Tyler arrived and we took a short break.  It was sweltering hot and humid out.  We were soaked in sweat.  We showed him site and told him the story of the loss.  “Wow.  This is like a needle in a haystack….did you check the mower?” We had not.  We had the owner pull the mower out of the shed and we thoroughly searched it.  No dice.  We told the owner the situation was looking dire, but we will look a little longer.  He pitched in and began visually searching and so did we.

Right then I saw something shiny.  Tyler saw me react to the item which was right at his feet just beneath a clump of grass.  I only saw it because of the angle I was in relation to the clump of grass.  I zeroed in on the item and went for it saying, “Look here.”  It was not the earring but it was the back of the earring.  How I saw it is truly beyond me.  But this find gave us all hope we may find the actual earring.  The owner was there and he was amazed we found the back (this was something I was not expecting either).  It was enough to lift our spirits and keep us on the job. He headed back towards the house and I told him we would stick to it for a while longer.  We looked for another 30 minutes with no luck.

Drenched from head to toe in sweat, and losing momentum quickly, I sat down in the spot we were searching and said, “If I were this lady I would grab a cold drink, sit right here, and do this.”  I sat there sifting through the grass and clover.  Removing clumps of clover by hand to clear the way for my visual search.  The metal detectors most likely picked up the signal of the earring at some point or another, but differentiating it from every other signal was near impossible.  And with the time you spent going up and down it seemed to me to be more productive to search visually.  Scrap Iron was over in the garden right near where I found the back of the earring in the yard.  The reasoning being perhaps the mower had launched the earring away from the narrow strip of grass and into the garden.  This went on for another 10-15 minutes when I saw it.  A glimmer.  It is something that the human eye is attuned to picking up.  Gold, platinum, silver, diamonds.  Once you get your “eyes right” they will be drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  My heart jumped.  This seemed like a dream.  Almost impossible.  At this point I had truly lost hope that we would find it.  But we did.  “Travis, look.”  He did not turn around and probably didn’t think it was possible that I had found the earring either.  “Travis, look!”

He nonchalantly looked over his shoulder.  I held the earring up like a trophy.  He sprung up and came over offering a celebratory high five.”Good job man!”  This was unbelievable.  We were both amazed.  After about an hour and a half of looking we emerged successfully.  We were completely stoked and, frankly, surprised.  We had both, I think, lost hope of a successful recovery only 30 minutes ago.  But we persisted and prevailed.

I snapped a quick picture of the find.  We grabbed our gear and headed up to the garage where the man was working on cars.  He casually looked up, “Calling it quits guys?”  He clearly had doubted the success of recovery too.

One happy owner, notice the sweat. We all looked this way. Very hot and humid Kansas day.

I replied, “I think we are going to wrap it up…” and paused for effect.  He nodded with an indication that he understood the difficulty of the task.  I continued, “…but only because we found it!”  I think he almost fainted.  He was beside himself and could not believe we found not only the earring but also the back (which still surprises me).

He was extremely thankful.  “I cannot believe it.  Thank you guys SO much!  I think I am going to wait to tell my wife until she gets home…let her sweat little.”  He went on to tell us a story of when she had lost a large tennis bracelet at the lake.  At that time he had to hire a diver to find it.  Apparently she loves her jewelry and always wears it.  I kindly suggested she should remove it while doing yard work.  This is when, according to my experience, most people lose their jewelry…and when at the lake.

“Well, hang onto our number.  You may end up being our best customer,” Scrap Iron replied which generated a chuckle among the group.

One thing I learned from Chris over at The Ring Finders is that the reward is only a part of the recovery mix.  Don’t let this be the focus of your search and don’t get greedy. He has done recovery jobs for many thousands of dollars and some for a loaf of banana bread.  Often, it is better to let the owner set the price.  Frequently you will get more than you would have asked for.  Besides, without knowing the cost of the lost item, it is hard for you to determine a fair price at times.  I assumed this pair of earrings to be anywhere from $2,000-3,000 maybe more.  As he reached for his wallet I told him, “In terms of our reward, you can pay us what you think our service was worth.”

He looked at us and said, “Is a couple hundred dollars fair?”

“Yep.” Scrap Iron and I replied simultaneously.  In all honestly we would have been happy with half.  We left the job site a couple hundred dollars richer and much wealthier in spirit.  It is always a good feeling to help someone in need while at the same time earning a fair wage in doing it.




Successful Metal Detector Ring Recovery – Overland Park Arboretum

  • from Olathe (Kansas, United States)
Overland Park Arboretum An untouchable paradise.

Overland Park Arboretum
An untouchable paradise.

The 300-acre Arboretum in Overland Park, Kansas has always intrigued me in terms of maybe being a hot spot to metal detect.  Not only was there once a story about a dying man who possibly hid some treasure on the property, the almost half-section is located in an area of the State where there were multiple Pre-Civil War Battles, skirmishes, and raids.  On the property also sit three old homesites and is within the old Black Bob Indian reservation.  They were very close to the border of Kansas and Missouri during a very turbulent time and very likely may have been part of the raids from variousBushwackers.  The only problem, according to the City of Overland Park, the Arboretum is strictly off-limits for metal detecting. I had always wanted to go onto this property to metal detect.  But, it was out of the question.  That is until one day I got a call from a photographer that was shooting some wedding pictures in the Arboretum.  It was late in the evening and the shot involved the bride removing her ring.  I assume it was some sort of proposal type shot. Staged on a wooden decked bridge as the sun sat in the distance.  I am not sure of the exact details but, one thing led to another and the ring was dropped.  Ding, ding, ding roll…plop!  The ring somehow fell through the one gap in a wooden bridge that was large enough for the bride’s ring to fall through.  The park attendant was nice enough to pull off a couple deck boards to see if they could reach the bottom of the lake bed.  Although not a particularly deep part of the lake, the bottom was just still out of reach.  They searched until the sun went down and they lost light.

The photographer was horrified and felt as if it were somehow her fault the ring was lost.That night she emailed me and called the first morning to see if we could help them find the ring.  I had not opened my email yet but returned her call immediately the following morning.  The Arboretum is only 5 minutes from our shop in Overland Park.  We sat an appointment to meet at 1pm at the Arboretum entrance.  As we arrived I noticed a good number of vehicles in the parking lot.  ”Oh boy,” I thought, “We’re going to have an audience.”  We parked and walked towards the entrance.  We greeted the nervous couple and photographer and had them describe the scenario.  The good news was they kind of knew the area where the ring was lost.  The bad news was the park attendant on duty that day refused to pull up the deck boards again that day.  See, it was Tuesday.  Tuesdays are the “free day” and the park was unusually busy for that time of the day during the week.  Removing the board would be hazardous to the passersby.  And sure enough, there were plenty of those in attendance.

We grabbed our gear and headed directly to the spot the ring was lost.  The ring was dropped smack dab in the middle of the 10-12′ wide deck in water that sloped from about 18″ to around 3′.  The only problem is the deck was only a few inches above the waterline.  This meant we had only a couple choices.  The first option was to try to reach the metal detector under the deck as we got about neck deep in the water.  Swing the metal detector back and forth until we  located a target signal that might be the ring.  Then, some how, reach 5-6″ under the deck to recover the ring.  This would have to be done with a long handled sand scoop (which we had) or I would have to dawn the snorkel and mask (which we also had) and go under for the target.  The scoop is just under 3 feet long.  So, if I could not reach it, I was going for a swim.  Mind you, this water is full of huge Koi fish and larger turtles. The Koi are constantly defecating as parkgoers feed them large amounts of fish food.  The snapping turtles in this side of the world can get HUGE and pretty nasty if you startle them in their own territory.  Plus,  I really didn’t want to go sifting through the mud (or fish poo rather).   Putting my head under water didn’t sound too fun either.   Fortunately the Garrett AT Pro’s we were metal detecting with are waterproof up to 10′.  This depth of water is perfect for hunting with a sand scoop.  Although the dock put a bit of a kink in the plan, I was using my Gray Ghost Amphibian headphones.  So, if I had to go under and search by hand, I could.

In the typical stream or body of water you have to contend with all sorts of targets.  Lead weights, fishing lures, pull tabs, bottle tops, junk, etc.  However, in this lake, located within a virtual ecological preserve, people didn’t litter and fishing is not allowed.  So, there were very few targets to contend with.  Additionally, I have recovered quite a few rings with the Garrett AT Pro.  I know what different karats and different sizes of rings sound/look like on the detector.  The photographer also had a ring that was similar to the one lost:  white gold, diamonds, similar size.  I ran my detector over the ring.  Just as I had suspected.  Solid 42 on the metal detector with a mid-range tone.  Having recovered a few of this type of ring, I was very familiar with that signal.  Sounded a lot like a pull tab but rings up little lower on the digital read out.  I set up my detector to discriminate out everything over a penny and anything below a 35 on the detector.  The result is fewer signals to interrupt my search for the ring.  Less confusion and less time wasted on bad signals.  I left the iron audio on.  This way I could be aware of, and avoid recovering, iron objects that may appear similar on the metal detector as the ring.

We began setting up.  We strapped on our water shoes, fired up our headphones and got to work.  They showed us approximately where the ring had gone through the deck.  Scrap Iron waded right in on the shallower side of the dock and began detecting.  I  jumped in the deeper end and went to work too.  We were on opposite sides of the deck walkway and our detectors, with arms completely stretched out, should be able to reach across the entire distance.  And fortunately they did.  The idea was to get in and out as quickly as possible.

As we entered the water a funny thing began to happen.  A crowd began to gather.  Folks asked, “What are they doing?”   Kids accumulated (as they typically do at the  sight of a metal detector).  Some people speculated we were checking the water depth, some thought we were testing for chemicals.  We continued to work as the owners of the ring told people that we were looking for her lost engagement ring.  The sympathies poured in and the people continued to gather.  Some passed by only to return later to see how we were progressing.


Fortunately for us, the job didn’t take too long.  Within 5 minutes of searching I heard that signal as I was stretching my arm and metal detector as far as I could under the I shouted over to Scrap Iron, who was on the other side of the dock) “I got one good potential target.  I will see if there were any others and then try to recover them all at once.”  Beautifully, that was the only target under the dock, and within my reach, that I felt could be the ring.  Even better, it seemed like if I went a little deeper (like up to my cheeks) the sand scoop just might reach the target.  And it did, barely.

The particular sand scoop we were using was the Sand Witch Sand Scoop which was ideal for this situation. It is bent so it works better to pull towards you than to scoop outward.  Perfect for this job.  The target was barely within reach.  I scooped once and detected the spot where the target was.  The target had moved but it was not in my scoop.  I had though I heard the scoop hit something hard as I scooped but I did not recover the ring.  I relocated the target, which had moved a couple feet closer towards me.  Good news, I didn’t have to go any deeper into the stagnant water.  With the second scoop I noticed the target had disappeared from where it previously was and as I rattled the scoop I heard something in it.  I quickly looked through and saw nothing but a bunch of sludge and some clam shells rattling around.  Scrap Iron’s mother who just happened to be in town and a spectator along for the trip suggested I dump it onto the deck.  I was concerned that if the ring was in the basket it could fall through the deck again and I would have to re-recover it.  I found a spot where there was hardly any gap in the deck board and emptied the contents.  As I pulled the scoop away I saw it.  The shimmer of white gold and glittery diamonds.  And just as I had feared the ring had nearly fallen between to of the deck boards and back into the water.  Fortunately the gap was smaller than the stones on the ring (lucky girl).  I quickly cupped my hand below it so if it fell through I would catch it and shouted, “Right there!  I found it!”

When I tried to remove the ring from where it was wedged I couldn’t get it.  I was at a weird angle as I tried to prevent its return to the abyss below and my fingers were too big and wet.  I motioned the bride to come over and get it so I could keep my hand below it as a safety net.  She was ecstatic and so was the crowd.  There were cries of joy, hugs, congratulations, and a lot of thank yous and pats on the back.  As always, it always feels great to help someone find such a dear item.  I could also visually see about a thousand pounds being lifted off of the shoulders of the photographer.  As she came over to offer hugs of thanks, I reminded her we had just been face deep in a murky little fish pond.  She didn’t care and embraced us anyway.  It felt great.

The happy couple thanked us and we headed back up to the parking lot.   The whole ordeal taking less than 15 minutes…that includes the 1/2 mile walk both ways to the vehicles!  The photographer had felt as if the ordeal was her fault (which no one felt it really was).  So, she wished to cover the expense of our services.  When she asked how much she owed us, I told her whatever she felt it was worth. Quite often if the job is quick and no hassle I tell them nothing.  Although, 99% of the time they insist.   However, in this case, it was a dirty job and I had dropped everything I was doing that afternoon to assist.  Afterall, I certainly had to go home to take a shower and get out of my fishy clothes.  I learned from a very experienced ring finder once that your time is worth something but it is always good for us metal detectorists to put what we do in a good light.  Sometimes you work for nothing, sometimes you score a good recovery deal.  Most of the time the price is negotiable and it is always wise to let the person suggest an amount.  9 out of 10 times I end up getting more than I would expect.  Rarely less.  I told her whatever she felt it was worth.  They were all young couples and entrepreneurs. Besides, I am not in this for the money.  As she began writing the check I saw $60.  I said, “That is too much.  I would have done it for $20…if you would have forced a number out of me.” I smiled, she smiled and she handed me the check and thanked me and told me it was worth every penny.

This was the perfect recovery effort.  In and out with success.  Plus, I was able to get out of the office on a beautiful day, get in the water, find some valuable jewelry, and help out a couple very nice people in the process.  We parted ways with another hug.  As I drove out of the arboretum I looked back.  ”Ha.” I though, I finally got a rare opportunity to metal detect an untouchable property…and I found real treasure!  No better way to spend a beautiful spring Kansas day.