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FOUND: My Sister's Ring with a Metal Detector!

By Ben Harper

It all started last Monday while I was on my day off from work. My son (Brandon) and I were trying to figure out something to do for the day that would be fun and still be somewhat in the budget. I decided to drop by my local Wal-mart to see if they had a cheap metal detector. Upon searching the store and asking several people, we could not find a metal detector. We tried the sporting goods department in our final attempt with no luck. Asking a third worker at the store, he said, "sure, it's in the optical department". Thinking he had misunderstood, I told Brandon we'd just go somewhere else to shop. But, on our way out we discovered the worker knew exactly what he was talking about. Not only did they have some detectors, but a whole pallet of them. They were priced in the $98 to $198 range (not wanting to over do it to much on the spur of the moment), I choose the $98 Bounty Hunter detector. I had actually hoped to find one in the $59-$69 range (just to satisfy my 6 year old). That's where this journey begins! 

Brandon and I searched our yard and found several new pennies, new dimes, new quarters, and other trash items. Satisfied with our finds, we went to a nearby local park and searched there. After the day ended, we had found no silver and nothing old but did have a good time searching. 

Fast forward to Saturday, August 4th,2001. I decided to take the family up to my sister's house about 100 miles north of my home in Mobile, Alabama, to my old hometown of Coffeeville to search for some coins. Upon arriving at my sister's home, she told me of a class ring that her daughter (my niece) had lost out near the edge of their field. Not thinking much of it, I preceded to shoot for coins and not the ring. I set the discriminator on the detector and searched her yard. It was part of the area that my niece was saying where she lost the ring. I searched for about 25 to 30 minutes and found several new pennies, a couple of new dimes and some trash items. 

Later, my sister came over to me and asked if I would look for her class ring. I said, "sure, if you can tell me about where it was lost". She and my niece came over and showed me the general area. I reset the detector to my wife's wedding band and gold engagement ring since they are of similar metals and size. Then the search was on! After about 10 minutes everyone went back in the house since it was a pretty hot day. After some trash items and a new nickel, I heard a good target tone. All of a sudden I turned up the ring!!! I calmly clinched it in my hand and went inside to cool off! First, I showed it to my brother-in-law who replied, "oh, a pop-top", to which I said, "look closer". About that time my wife walked over to see what I had found. At this point I went in the kitchen where my sister was and said, "hey sis, I'll give you what I have in my hand for $1"! She thought it was a bug! Then I opened my hand to show her the class ring. She nearly fainted!!! At this point, I was told the ring has been lost since my niece was 2 years old. Now she is 13. The ring had been lost for over 11 years!!!