Bridget and Jim
January 30, 2019
Bridget's 2 Carat Diamond
Platinum Engagement Ring
On the morning of the 30th of January, I received a phone call from a woman who was extremely stressed out about her beautiful 2 carat diamond platinum engagement ring that went missing the day before somewhere between home and work.
Bridget and her husband reside in Centerville, Virginia which is located 30 minutes from Washington D.C.. The night before, they frantically searched for the missing ring at their home and when they couldn't find it anywhere inside and outside of the house, they resolved to go to Bridget's work to search throughout her office, in the waste paper baskets, in and around the company kitchen area, and outside in the parking lot where her car was parked that afternoon. They tried everything, but they couldn't find the ring anywhere. That's when they finally resolved to look online for a professional metal detectorist and they found me in a directory of metal detectorists known as The Ring Finders. We can find what most people just cannot recover.
I was so happy to talk with Bridget and to try to help her find her absolutely gorgeous diamond ring that meant the world to her. The first thing I did was to spend a whole lot of time on the phone talking with her about all of the different possibilities of where the ring may have ended up.
She was extremely detailed about each scenario and it really helped me to paint an accurate picture as to all of the main areas that we needed to search first. The ring could have been lost outside of her home from the car area over to the house or it could have been lost inside of her work or outside in the parking lot. But she really believed that she was wearing it while driving home the day before because she felt that she would have recognized the ring missing on her hand as she was holding on to the steering wheel. A very important clue!
I arrived in Centerville, Virginia in the early afternoon and met Bridget outside of her home. She was trying to stay positive in the midst of many doubts within her that she might never see her engagement ring ever again. It’s because she and her husband Jim checked everywhere and nothing turned up. I reassured her that there was no compromise here and that it was not a matter of "if" we would find the ring, but "when"we would find it. She felt reassured about it and I told her that I would try my very best to find the ring and return it to her.
I got my gear on and started the hunt. I purposely started away from the house where people might get curious as to what I was searching for. Most people were still at work and so searching in the open areas first would allow me to get the exposed areas eliminated before people got back to the neighborhood. I didn’t want to alert any of the neighbors that something important was lost, just in case they might want to search themselves. There was a high probability that the ring was lost near the steps of the house, perhaps buried in the bushes. You see, she remembers reaching for her phone from within her jacket pocket when she was outside shoveling the steps leading to her house door. It was possible that the ring had fallen off at that point and then maybe she shoveled the ring along with the snow, off into the bushes.
I did check the bushes but to no avail. I also checked Bridget's car with her approval because there are times when the item is lost somewhere in a vehicle even after the owner looks over and over again. It was definitely not in the Audi. I checked the parking lot and the surrounding sidewalk areas and lawn areas near the walkways but nothing turned up. The next order of business was to check the grassy areas on either side of the sidewalk leading up to Bridget's house. This took a considerable amount of time because there was still a sizable amount of snow on the ground from a previous snow fall.
When I could not find the ring, even though I checked plenty of possible signals, I took a break from detecting and spent a little bit of time researching my database of previous finds and the signal numbers that were seen with similar rings that were lost before.
I was then back at it, looking intently with my metal detector to locate Bridget's beloved diamond ring. It wasn't too long after I returned to detecting the front and side lawn areas of their house that I got the signal I was looking for! The numbers on the machine lined up perfectly with what I was studying earlier on my database. The target was at a shallow depth and I was confident more than ever that I had what I was looking for! I quickly searched the area where I detected and there it was, just below the surface in the snow! I found the ring! I was beyond elated! Because the ring could have been anywhere according to Bridget, we scored a huge home run! I went to the car and got my camera and returned at once to take some pictures before telling Bridget the great news. This is when things got a little dicey. My search was not over!
I was so excited when I found the ring that I didn't think to dust it off to review the condition of the jewel. You see, it was just lying under the snow and nobody had walked over it since yesterday afternoon. So I didn't think that there was any need to do a thorough review of it before returning to the car to retrieve my camera. But when I dusted it off to get some better pictures of the diamond ring, there was one big problem! There was no diamond in the setting! I was blown away by this discovery because there was still plenty of snow and ice on the ground and it would have been nearly impossible to find a 2 carat "piece of precious ice" in the midst of all of that cold, white ice outside! My heart was so discouraged. The ring setting was mangled on one side and it was most likely accidentally damaged when the owner was shoveling the front steps.
The only thing I could do at that point was to carefully sift through the snow where the ring was, with the hope that the diamond was resting close by to the setting. This assumption meant that the diamond would have just come out of the setting when it landed in that place. And to my very happy surprise, that is exactly what happened! I found the diamond! I found it just inches away from the setting! I couldn't believe it! I traced an imaginary circle with a 6 inch diameter around where I found the setting and sure enough this huge, gorgeous, priceless rock appeared in the midst of all of the snow and ice on the ground! It gave off the most amazing display of fireworks and sparkles! I found it! I really found it! The setting and the diamond were now both recovered and were both ready to be returned back to the worried owner who was inside the house doing work, hoping that she would get a knock at the door with a solid report.
I couldn't wait to share the great news with Bridget! I knocked on the door and as soon as she opened it I told her that I found the ring! She was so beyond happy! I did tell her that there was good news and also some bad news and to grab a sandwich baggie from the kitchen. She met me outside and I showed her where the ring had rested near a tree in the front of the property and I explained what happened to the setting. She couldn't believe that I found the diamond in the snow! It could have landed anywhere if the diamond came apart from the setting at any other place in time other than when it landed beside the tree where I found it!
Bridget was so relieved and grateful for what I was able to do to return the ring to her. I went inside and we took some pictures and video conferenced her husband Jim who was very happy at the conclusion of my search! Then, we said our goodbyes and I headed off to my next appointment.
Bridget and Jim's smile and their feelings of elation, knowing that the ring was back in their hands just made my day! My job is just the most fun one could ever have! Bringing smiles to people's faces can't get any better than this!
Bridget had a birthday just a couple of weeks later. While she and her husband were celebrating at a five star resort, they sent me a photo of Bridget's incredibly huge diamond that was now resting back in its proper ring setting, together once more on Bridget's finger!
I can't fully express just how special it felt to be a part of that reunion!