Lost Engagement Ring Represents 73 Years of Marriage! West Hartford, Connecticut
Meghan contacted me the same night her ring went missing. It was the eve of her grandparents’ 73rd anniversary when disaster struck. Meghan realized her heirloom platinum diamond ring went missing while engaging in a hobby also passed down from her grandmother, gardening. I had no choice but to clear my schedule and make sure this ring ended up back on its rightful finger.
Turning the fresh topsoil by hand in her newly assembled garden beds, Meghan felt the ring slip off and luckily spotted the precious heirloom right away. She placed it back on her finger, realizing the cool weather was causing her fingers to shrink, resulting in a loose fit of her grandmother’s ring. Meghan could have just taken the ring off, but gardening with her grandparents was the pastime Meghan remembered most. This was a way for Meghan to honor their memory on an extraordinary day that goes back to the 1940s.
My trip came to an end as I pulled into Meghan’s driveway and began analyzing the property. I consider all the information a property owner provides during our initial conversations, but I always keep an open mind that the lost article could be anywhere in the yard. With this in mind, we walked through the yard and discussed the day’s events. I put the puzzle pieces together and began prioritizing the places I wanted to search. I started in the raised garden beds because the ring was guilty of escape this place once before. Meghan showed me the beds she was digging in and hand-turned the soil when the ring slipped off the first time. It was only moments later when she noticed the ring was missing once more. When something traumatic like this happens, and a person is forced to recall the events, it’s challenging to assemble the events in the exact order they occurred. Meghan had difficulty remembering if there were tasks outside of the garden that could have happened before she realized the ring was missing a second time. Luckily for me, the garden in this area was not planted yet, so I could cleanly sweep the beds with my XP Metal Detector coil. The beds were raised high off the ground, so the gardener to work comfortably in the soil without bending over. The raised beds are great for gardeners but make the use of a traditional metal detector difficult. The XP high-frequency elliptical coil is small, lightweight, and wireless, allowing me to use only the most necessary parts of the metal detector to scan the soil and reach the tight bed corners. It was time to get started now that I had the essential information and Meghan and Caroline’s young boys had gathered to watch the search. The audience patiently watched as I scoured the beds for their great-grandmother’s ring. I had to do a slow, methodical sweep in the dirt with the metal detector power low to minimize interference from the protective metal screens on the bed rails. Eventually, the slow sweep and lack of action lead to boredom and a sudden dispersal of my young fans. Coming up empty-handed in this area and losing my local support, I decided to move on.
I shifted to the next most likely place where Meghan remembered pausing her gardening work to toss a toy for her dog. This was a more traditional metal detecting search, so I was able to move quicker in this phase of the investigation, once again catching the attention of the youngsters. Meghan showed me the direction she threw the stuffed dinosaur for the pup. I marked off the area and began sweeping. I heard a few signals, but all were buried underground and couldn’t possibly have been the recently lost ring. Coming up empty-handed in the grass, I kept the conversation going with Meghan looking for any other details or clues.
We decided to remove the metal screen from the rails of the garden bed where Meghan remembered working that day. Removing the large pieces of metal eliminates the interference in my metal detector. It lets me take a second pass over the raised beds with my metal detector and penetrate deeper into the soil. Running out of places to search, I knew if the final scan of the gardening area didn’t reveal the lost ring, there was only one thing left to do. Scoop the dirt from the beds and scan each shovelful as it’s dumped on the ground. With Caroline working on removing the metal screens, Meghan and I laid out a tarp to prep for the soil removal. If activities did come to removing all the soil from the beds, we could avoid making a massive mess of the grass and make it easier to get the soil back into the beds by laying out a tarp. I pulled my last tarp corner tight and headed over to the garden area to fetch my metal detector.
As I walked, I passed by a metal wheelbarrow full of what appeared to be the same soil from inside the beds. I stopped to investigate. Walking around the wheelbarrow, I saw a couple of kid toys sitting on top of the dirt. The two items that stood out the most were two plastic sifters that looked like something I’ve seen kids play with on a sandy beach. These toys could also be used to sift larger objects out of the soil. A lightbulb turned on. I asked Meghan about my new findings. She explained that when the ring first went missing, they decided to remove some of the soil. They had a couple of methods for checking the dirt. One way was to scoop a bucket full of dirt from the bed and then sift the dirt into the wheelbarrow to hopefully filter out the lost ring. The dirt proved to be clumpy and did not sift very well. The other method used was to take a handful of dirt, then used the other hand to pinch and sprinkle the dirt into the wheelbarrow. How many pinches of dirt would it take to move a couple of truckloads of dirt? ALL SUMMER, that’s how many! The Meghan and Caroline managed to fill up the wheelbarrow that day with the pinch and sprinkle method. My first thought was there is no way that ring could be in there, but I wanted to test my metal detecting method over the tarp. Stating with the wheelbarrow full of already filtered dirt seemed like a good place to start. I wheeled it over and dumped it on its side near the edge of the tarp.
Spreading the dirt across the tarp with my metal detector coil, I began listening for the sounds of gold in my headphones. Almost immediately, I got a strong signal. Too strong to be under the tarp and buried in the grass I just searched, so I figured the kids must have thrown a metal object in the dirt after Meghan and Caroline finished sifting. One last sweep with my metal detector, I pushed another layer of dirt to the side. Staring at me for the freshly poured soil was a beautiful platinum diamond ring. It was hiding in the wheelbarrow the whole time! I walked over to Meghan’s wife, Caroline, and awkwardly stood in front of her until we made eye contact. I reached out with Meghan’s ring and handed it to Caroline. At the same time, I made the shhh gesture with my finger, hoping Caroline would understand. I wanted her to surprise Meghan with the ring. The emotions almost took over, but Caroline quickly reigned in the feelings and nodded in understanding. I nodded back and stepped to the side. Caroline started walking over to Meghan for the big surprise. Little did we know, Meghan knew something was up the whole time. But come to find out later, Meghan thought one of us cut our finger when she saw us standing side by side, looking down at our hands. The cat wasn’t out of the bag yet! Caroline quickly revealed the ring, and Meghan let out a scream of joy!
Meghan and I talked for thirty minutes or so after she got her ring back where she described her special relationship with her late grandmother. I had no idea how a hobby such as gardening could bond family members. It made perfect sense why Meghan wanted to keep the ring on, even after losing it the first time. Keeping the ring on was the only way Meghan and her grandmother could share their gardening once again and as they did in the decades past.
How to Find a Lost Ring
Lost ring while gardening? It happens all the time! Don’t waste your time renting or borrowing a metal detector. Stop and mark the area where you believe the ring was lost. My jewelry finding service covers Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and other surrounding states.
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