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Metal Detecting Enthusiast

Tag: Lancaster

Ridley Creek State Park Posy Ring

What at first appeared to be just another annoying telemarketer call, actually turned out to be a lady in distress. Lady Alexia was the unfortunate soul who had lost a ring while attending a reenactment at the Ridley Creek State Park Colonial Plantation the weekend prior. Alexia had worn one of her favorite rings and to her dismay, had lost it on the last day while helping to pack the group’s camp site.

After she described the colvilarea and her confidence that it was lost there, I knew that the odds were in our favor for a recovery. We made an arrangement to meet that coming Saturday, as the sooner we look for it the better… plus I could tell that she was very anxious to find her ring. To my surprise, Alexia lived in Manhattan and would have to take off a day from work, in order to make this journey. She also asked if I could pick her up from the local train station, I obliged and was impressed with the trust she had in strangers.

Prior to my search, Alexia contacted the Park and secured permission for me to search the area with a metal detector. Since this is a historical site, I made sure to enforce the fact that I would not be digging any holes during my search. Since the ring was lost very recently, it would be a surface recovery and no need for any penetrations. The State Park management granted us permission, with the understanding that if any other items/artifact were found during my search that I would give them to the Park.

I met Alexia at the local train station that Saturday around noon. The weather had taken a turn for the worse; it reminded me of an Islay scotch. It was overcast, with patches of light rain, cooler and windy! I could smell the damp peat and taste the salty sea. Ok, maybe the peat and the salt was the Talisker still lingering on my palate, but it was a typical Scottish day (from what I hear).  🙂  As we drove to the park I learned that Alexia is in the jewelry business, she is a gemologist. The lost ring was part of her jewelry collection; it was a 15th century English posy ring with the inscription “NUL AUTRE” on the inside. It was originally found by a metal detectorist in England and then sold under the Treasure Act of 1996.

When we arrived at the field, I recognized that the area was large than estimated. I would take me the rest of the day to search, but fortunately, it was all low grass, so that was a pleasure to work with. We had a brief chat about what occurred in the different parts of the field and then I was ready to start the search.

I use little orange flags to mark my search grid and spots of interest, this way I make sure that there are no overlaps or missed spots and I can come back later to investigate the “good hits.” I did have two great sounding hits, with a high likelihood of them being older silver coins; it was so hard not to check them. Yet since they were a few inches down, I could not dig a plug, a promise is a promise… but it was so tempting.

I was a few hours into my search and hope was fading fast. I had searched the most probably areas with two more smaller spots to check, the archery area and where Alexia had dropped some swords. The archery area search did not produce anything. With failure on my mind, I told her that I could come back with a friend to try one more time the following week. I was really impressed with her attitude, as she said that it is ok, because she tried her best to find her ring. This made me feel better, because I gave it my best also.

The last small 10′ x 10′ area is where Alexia first noticed that her ring was missing. She said that she had alexia-posy-ringput down some swords by the vehicles when – to her horror – her prized possession was missing. And at this very spot I had a clear hit, it was perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. As I squatted down and moved the grass to the side I saw the yellowish glint of gold that every treasure hunter dreams of. I immediately knew by the beautiful diagonal design that this was Alexia’s. I was so happy, that I couldn’t contain myself and had to exclaim our find! I was amazed at the beauty and sheer weight of this ring – it is an exquisite piece of jewelry! This is definitely the nicest and most valuable – monetarily speaking – ring that I had found so far.

She was VERY happy – it made my day. On the alexiaway back to the car, she made the comment that the ring, which was originally found by a metal detectorist in England, was found again by a metal detectorist.

Not only did Alexia give a very generous reward, but she also bought lunch as we waited at the local pub for her train to arrive. The reward came in handy, because on that day I had to replace my washing machine.

 

Wedding Ring Found in Oxford/Nottingham.

Ed from Nottingham emailed me about how he had lost his tungsten wedding ring while working in the yard cleaning up some leaves last autumn. He was pretty sure where he had lost it, so I had a good feeling about this search.

When I arrived on this drizzly morning, Ed was out working in the yard. He was busy processing some nice oak trees in the backyard, he had a couple of nice logs.  After a quick chat about firewood he showed me the area where he thought that he had lost his wedding ring. Ed told me that it is either at the dump site or somewhere on a path around his yard. The first area of interest was a pile of leaves – and there were a lot of them! Ed was working there about 3 months ago when he noticed that his ring was missing. He was pretty sure that it was in a ten foot area, where he was dumping leaves, so that’s where I got started.

Ed-ring

My first pass and my detector gave me my first plausible signal. I tried to turn on my Garrett Pro Pointer to pin-point the item, but the unit was dead. Hmm… I had just replaced the batteries, but whatever, I pulled out a fresh 9V from my bag and was ready to continue. Yet to my disappointment, even with the new battery, the pointer still showed no signs of life. I was a little bummed that my pro pointer was inoperative, luckily I had a backup – the Garrett Carrot, so I continued on. I found that my first  hit was just a wad of molten metal.

ed-and-ringTo my surprise there was a lot of junk in the pile of leaves and in the ground surrounding it, so I was glad that I had put on my smaller coil (5×8) that morning. Yet my hopes slowly started dwindling  away, as I knew this pile of leaves was my only hope, as the path around his yard was just too large for me to cover. So he either lost it here or it was lost, since the path was just too much area for me to cover.

I was working the pile of leaves, when I hit a strong signal swinging the detector vertically up the side of this compost pile. I put the detector down and hit the area with the carrot pin-pointer and there, among the dirt I saw some roundness … dark gray roundness Ed’s missing tungsten wedding ring.

Ed was happy, I think that he almost gave up hope. I was also very pleased, especially since it was such a speedy recovery, I wish they all went like this. Ed and I chatted a bit afterwards and he asked me if I liked beer. A German not liking beer?!? Well, to my pleasant surprise, Ed had a couple of home-brews he gave me to take along. To date I only tried the Cold Hop from Boulder Brewing and I liked it – three more to go!  🙂

Ed also showed me the garage he built himself, he did a great job. A large two car garage with a wood shop on the second floor – pretty awesome! Yes, I wish I had one.

UPDATE: It turned out that the little power switch on Garrett my pin-pointer came apart.

Wedding Ring found in West Chester, PA!

Meg contacted me via email and explained that her husband had lost his wedding ring some time on their 28th wedding anniversary. They both thought that it might have been lost shopping at a store parking lot. They did a search and also came back early in the morning when the lot was empty. I knew that the chances of a recovery in a parking lot – with so much foot traffic – are extremely low. During the email exchanges, there was a point where Meg was not sure if it was worth the bother to have me look, but I really wanted to give it a shot.

photo2editWe made arrangements and I met them the next day after my day job. Dan showed me around the yard and mentioned where he had worked setting up for the outdoor gathering. As we walked around the backyard, the search area proceeded to get larger and larger, I knew in the back of my mind that I will have to come back to finish the search, as it was going to be dark in two hours.

Dan also explained that he ALWAYS wears this ring. He mentioned that he might have taken it off a total of 3 minutes in the past 28 years. He also stated that it was always a little loose and that he had lost some weight recently. That, along with the cooler weather, is a recipe for a call to the ring finders.  🙂

I started my grid pattern closest to the house and hit the area where I thought Dan was working the most and had the most foot traffic. Near the end of my first lane Dan had stacked was a small pile of firewood for their fire pit. I stepped over the logs and was in a hurry to finish my lane and start a new one back, when something made me stop and take a step back and re-scan the area I hurried over. And I again moved on in a hurry, but heard a very faint, yet good tone. I went back and found my signal … it was nothing special, but I checked it with my pro pointer anyways and low and behold, wedged underneath a patch of grass was a gold ring. I was in total disbelief and a little shocked at the quick recovery.

I really had low expectations for this search; I was photo3editmentally prepared for hours of searching and a return trip the following day. And then BAM – success! I was so happy to see Meg and Dan happy, as they might have also written it off as lost in the back of their minds. I think that Meg was as surprised at the find as I was, as she ran out in jubilation and gave me a big hug! It really is moments like these that are the true rewards for me as a member of the Ring Finders Network! Thanks for the generous reward Meg and Dan. (and get that ring resized)

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