the ring finders Tag | Page 10 of 10 | The Ring Finders

When your wedding ring goes missing, you need to call a metal detectorist

from Calgary (Alberta, Canada)
Contact: 1-403-701-1739

Excerpts from an Article written in the Calgary Herald -Swerve Magazine April4 , 2014, by Jacquie Moore

Winter Metal Detecting for Lost Rings

Winter Metal Detecting for Lost Rings


On April 4, 2013, a young woman in southwest Calgary got engaged, took a bath, made lasagna, tossed a salad, ate dinner and went to bed. First thing the next morning she called Bill Jones, a metal detector recovery specialist, and asked if he could come straight over. In the 12 hours since her boyfriend had proposed, the woman had lost the engagement ring. Jones hesitated. “I told her, ‘I can’t find your ring in a condo—everything in there is metal.’” The woman persisted. An hour later, for a fee of $25, Jones arrived with an arsenal of questions (finding something, he says, is as cerebral as it is physical). He asked her what she’d done right after she got the ring. Taken a bath, she answered, though she was certain she was still wearing the ring when she got out. What did you do after that? Dinner. Were there leftovers? There were. Jones scanned the lasagna Pyrex with a pinpointer probe; nothing. Then he passed the wand over the Tupperware in the fridge. Bingo—a $35,000, three-carat-diamond engagement ring sat between two leaves of lettuce.

As Jones implies, condos are not typical hunting grounds for metal detectorists. More often, you’ll find him and his cohorts in parks, on boulevards, along the banks of the Bow and, occasionally, up to their knees in manure (we’ll come back to that).

While some all-weather obsessives hunt year-round in Calgary, most start appearing alongside the crocuses, panning the warming earth, seemingly oblivious to the joggers, dog-walkers, monkey-bar-climbers and picknickers who populate the grassy places they search. I say “seemingly oblivious” because, in spite of appearances, it’s precisely you—with your holey pockets and your butterfingers and your careless habits—they’re interested in. Metal detectorists may be searching for inanimate objects, but they’re rarely motivated by fantasies of striking it rich by discovering Alberta’s equivalent of the Staffordshire Hoard (a motherlode of seventh-century gold relics found in 2009 by a lucky Brit with a run-of-the-mill detector); more often, they’re seeking human connection—whether contemporary or ancestral—and the chance to restore a little happiness.

As befits an activity that frequently produces outlandish anecdotes, the beginnings of metal detecting are stranger than fiction. As the story goes, the inventor Alexander Graham Bell was charged with the urgent task of coming up with a device that could find a bullet lodged in the body of American President James Garfield, who had been shot at a Washington, D.C. railroad station. Bell threw together a couple of insulated wire coils, a circuit breaker, a battery and parts of the telephone he’d invented five years earlier. The device apparently worked, emitting a helpful hum when panned over Garfield’s body. Problem was, the thing hummed no matter what part of the body it scanned. Garfield died 11 weeks after he was shot. It was only later that someone helpfully pointed out that Bell’s “bullet probe” had likely been reacting to the metal springs in the mattress beneath the president.

Metal-detecting technology has advanced in great leaps since then, and now serves dozens of industrial, military and security purposes. But it was the dawn of the affordable, portable variety in the 1970s that got average curious folks hooked. Bill Jones got in deep in 1978 when he responded to a Calgary Rock and Lapidary ad for metal detectors. “I saw that (ad) and thought, ‘Wow, I wonder what’s under the ground.’” He immediately fell in love with the hobby but recalls the limitations of his first detector. “They were very rudimentary back then—there was no discrimination, you’d hear one beep and you’d dig,” he says. “I dug lots of tinfoil and pulltabs back then.”

Jones has since gone through three detectors, each more expensive and sophisticated than the last. His current device, a $700 Garret AT Pro, detects items 10 inches underground, even underwater, and has three distinct tones so that the user can learn to ignore “grunts” that likely (but not necessarily) indicate a piece of contemporary trash. A digital readout tells the detectorist with a fair degree of accuracy whether a buried item is made of silver, white gold, gold or platinum. The model is so lightweight and easy to use that when Jones lent it to my five-year-old son at Tom Campbell’s Hill Park one afternoon last week, within five minutes he was able to locate two loonies buried deep beneath the snow.

Jones is likewise driven to reunite people with their treasures, but his approach, while less romantic than Kemp’s, has a higher rate of success (about 60 percent). Unlike Kemp, he begins with the owner, then looks for their lost possession. In addition to his local club affiliation, Jones is a member of an international network of metal recovery specialists called The Ring Finders. These are the people you’d look up if, say, while in a fit of anger at your Parisian fiancé, you threw your engagement ring from the top of the Eiffel Tower. A Ring Finder will come tout de suite, no judgements, and do their best to find it for you. Jones tells me those are often the easiest sorts of losses to recover because the thrower can tell him the ring’s whereabouts with relative specificity once she—or, sometimes, he—is ready to put it back on. Over the years, he’s recovered 10 such matrimonial-rage rings.

While Jones long ago made a business out of his hobby, he’s not getting rich. Semi-retired from jobs in IT and real estate, he says “If I was relying on this to pay my mortgage, I’d have gone broke a long time ago.” This isn’t the first time Jones has turned a profit from a hobby in order to cover expenses. Years ago, he was a magician-for-hire—until the day he pulled a rabbit out of a box and contracted tularemia, a rare bacterial infection that, two weeks later, resulted in his requiring a liver transplant. So far, his metal recovery work has proven less dangerous and it keeps him fit. On top of that, it’s provided him with an enviable stash of solid-gold anecdotes.

Last February, for instance, Jones got a call from a couple on a farm near Indus, Alta. Weeks earlier, the woman had tossed some hay into the corral, inadvertently tossing her 18-karat gold diamond wedding ring along with it. Believing the ring was still in the corral, the couple neglected to tell Jones that in the interim they’d shovelled up some manure from the enclosure and moved it over to the garden. Jones came up empty. In June, however, the couple brought him back for another attempt, an idea presumably inspired by their spreading the corral manure over the garden. Jones searched the garden for two hours, but the conditions were far from ideal. “You’ll recall there was a lot of rain last June,” he says. “I took one step into the plot and was up to my knees in mud.” Jones told the couple to call him back when they harvested the garden. They did and, in August, Jones made a third trip out. To his dismay, the ground had inadvertently been tilled—twice—by a well-intentioned relative. Though pessimistic, Jones geared up anyway and, a couple of hours later, the woman had her ring back. “They invited me in for a beer to celebrate.”

On another occasion, Jones took a call from an Okotoks woman whose toddler had chucked her mom’s ring off the deck and into the grass and bushes below. The woman was so thrilled when Jones recovered it that she cried. “I get that a lot,” he says. He also gets a lot of hugs, sometimes from men. “That gets a little uncomfortable, especially when they go on for a long time.”

If you ask to see Jones’s personal metal collection, he’ll present a small box of interesting odds and sods, including a rusty jacknife retrieved from a playground. He’s far more proud of a stack of snapshots of his smiling customers. “That’s what’s valuable to me.”

Kevin Niefer is one of the city’s two other Ring Finders. Niefer is a local realtor and a coin buff whose collection numbers in the tens of thousands. His interest in metal detecting was sparked during a childhood jaunt to a lake near his grandparents’ house in Saskatchewan. There he observed an old man hunting along the shore for “fish-scale” nickels, a pre-1921, dime-thin silver version of the coin we know today. The man essentially told the curious young Niefer to get lost, but the seed was planted. “My first finds were a penny and a bottlecap. I remember thinking, ‘Well, this sucks,’ but I didn’t give up.”

Like Jones, Niefer, who is currently helping to put together a pilot for a Calgary-based metal-detecting reality show titled What’s In Your Backyard?, is most animated when he shares his stories of returning precious goods. His Ring Finder calls have taken him to wilderness campgrounds, river bottoms, frigid parking lots and, most memorably, into the hills near Sundre, where a newlywed lost his ring while slinging mud at his bride on their wedding day. “They were an outdoorsy couple,” Niefer explains. He found the ring in the mud pit after a few false beeps over rebar and various quad parts.

To read the complete Story as published int he Calgary Herald Swerve Magazine, written by Jaquie Moore . . . Follow this Link






Lost Ring Bellaire, Texas (Recovered)

from Sugar Land (Texas, United States)
Contact: 1-281-330-7758

Lost Ring in Bellaire, Texas (Recovered)


I received a call yesterday from Eric a resident of Bellaire, Texas regarding his lost wedding ring. Eric reported he had lost his wedding ring in his backyard while playing water volleyball in his new pool. Eric said he remembered hitting a volleyball and his ring flying off his finger. Eric reported he searched his yard for several days trying to find his ring. Eric said after unsuccessfully finding his ring he located “The Ring Finders” on a Google a search.

I made the trip out to Eric’s home this morning and was given a walk through of how and where the ring was lost. The backyard was under renovations, a beautiful new pool, landscaping steps, and new and old landscaping underway. The backyard had little grass, so the remaining search area was going to be several areas of monkey grass, small hedges and a few flower beds.

Having the 6″ coil for the CTX3030 was a big factor in this recovery. Most of my work was pushing the small coil through the small tight hedges to work the ground below and around the hedges. It would have been nearly impossible to have accomplished this task with the stock 11′ coil.

I worked an area of the yard that seemed most probable for Eric’s ring to have landed based on the information of how it was lost. This area was relatively heavy with scrubs and money grass providing a great hiding place for a missing ring.. I thought for sure it would be the spot. After spending sometime working the hedges and monkey grass in this area with no results, I moved to the far side of the yard.

I started in on one of the flower beds, pushing the coil through the hedges blindly when I got a nice signal. I worked through the ground cover vegetation with a pin pointer and uncovered a series of intertwined gold loops. I ‘ll be honest, I initially thought maybe I had found an earring , I was thinking to myself what the heck is it. I knew it was gold, but did not register as a gold wedding band.

I hollered over to Eric who was working in the yard, and held out the dangling loops of gold, I saw a smile on his face, and rest is now history.

Eric explained that the odd configuration (the gold loops) was a Gold Arabic Puzzle Ring, and it had belonged to his grandfather original, passed to his father, and now to him. Thought to myself (priceless) and awesome, that is something you could never replace.

I have picked up a lot of rings, but this was my first ever puzzle ring and what a cool story. It didn’t take long to figure out why they call it a puzzle ring.

The video is a quick clip of Eric putting his ring back together.



Bellaire 2
































Nothing further,


John Volek




Lost Engagement Ring in Wildwood,NJ Found by Ed Cropski of The Ring Finders!

from South Jersey (New Jersey, United States)
Contact: 1-856-296-9258

I received an email requesting my metal detecting services to locate a lost engagement ring on the beach in Wildwood,NJ.It had been been lost 2 days before by Amanda the bride to be while she was laying on the beach and applying sunscreen in the high tide line area where the dry sand meets the wet While applying the sunscreen she had taken the ring off and put it on her towel however just at that moment a wave had come up high and startled her. She quickly grabbed her towel but the ring went flying into the sand somewhere and could not be found. Frantically she searched but had no luck and reluctantly went home only to tell her fiancé the bad news. Reaching out for help they were given my information in hopes that get the ring back for them. I arrived on the beach in the area that was described over the phone and began my grid pattern with my White’s beach Hunter Id 300 and after 3 hours and many targets latter I still did not find the ring and was forced to call it a night. Speaking with Amanda she assured me I was in the right area so I decided to go back after work the next day and expand the search area. After 2 hours of searching I finally was able to locate it higher up in the dry sand,I guess when she grabbed the towel so quick the ring had flung off and traveled a good distance. I immediately made the call they were so anxiously waiting for and informed Amanda that I had indeed found her ring who just couldn’t believe it! I could hear and sense the happiness and relief over the phone and we agreed to meet the following day for the return. Upon meeting Amanda & Kyle they informed me that they are getting married in a couple of weeks( September 7th ) and Kyle explained that the ring was custom made by a neighbor out of 2 rings that were handed down through his family with a 1 carat solitaire diamond. So there was so much sentimental meaning to the ring itself already. They were extremely happy and amazed to have the ring back not only at all but also in time for their wedding next week. I would like to Thank White’s Electronics once again for making this great recovery and many other ring returns I have made possible with their professional metal detectors. Congratulations Amanda & Kyle!!!!!IMG_2367IMG_2375IMG_2376