Lost Engagement Ring in Arlington, VA...Found in Snow After 6 Days Makes Engaged Couple Happy Again!
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
January 17 - 18, 2019
Just a few days before I met Meg and Kenny, our Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia area had a significant snow storm. As in the case with this engaged couple, another ring goes missing as a result of newly fallen snow.
I received a call on the 17th of January from Meg, a resident of Arlington, Virginia who shared that she and her fiancé were out on their deck, as the snow began to fall so beautifully the night of the huge snow storm. It was very cold outside and when Meg pulled off her glove, her engagement ring went flying over the deck railing and into the snow. She and her fiancé searched for hours upon hours but they could not find the ring anywhere. It was as if it completely disappeared into thin air. When they could not find it that night and into the next day, they rented a metal detector and searched for Meg’s gorgeous 1 carat diamond engagement ring for the next couple of days (the two are getting married this October 11th!). Even though they gave it all of their efforts, their plan led them no closer to where the ring had gone missing. They finally gave up on the third day and by the fourth day they looked online to see if they could find a professional metal detectorist who could help them find the bride-to-be's beloved engagement ring. The one they contacted happened to be in a state far away from them. However, since the gentleman and I are both members of the same national directory of metal detectorists called The Ring Finders, he referred the couple to me as I do searches for people in the Arlington, Virginia area, so it worked out well for me to come out that evening to recover their ring.
I will not forget that night because it was freezing cold out. It was somewhere in the high twenties fahrenheit. After finishing up with a client in Washington DC, I traveled in the snow, across the Potomac River and met the couple at their Arlington, Virginia home. All three of us reviewed all possibilities of what may have happened to the ring. The very fact that they could not find it for so many days started to make them wonder what could have possibly become of their ring. I started to question if somebody picked it up along the narrow path behind their deck. They didn’t believe that scenario was possible.
I spent a good amount of time asking the couple many questions as to what they believed may have happened to the ring. They recounted where they stood and how the ring flew forward, most likely over the side of the deck railing.
As I have learned over time, there can be so many different theories that play in the minds of those who lost their possession, and sometimes none of those scenarios line up with what really happened to the lost item. We would surely discover at some point what held true in this case.
After getting all of the information I could possibly gain, I headed out into the night, first searching on their deck with my headlamp, my harsh weather attire and metal detecting equipment, in search of the lost engagement ring. Kenny and I moved the furniture from one side to the other and I detected over the ice and snow that had built up on the deck; at least what actual snow was left on the deck. You see, earlier that week, Kenny and Meg took a huge flower planter of hot water and poured the water all over the deck to melt the snow and ice in order to hopefully expose the ring. But it didn't work. They also collected snow and poured it out into the bathtub and melted it and covered the drain hole so that if the ring was in the snow, it would not go down the drain. I was so hoping that when they melted it in the bathtub that the ring didn't accidentally go down the pipes but they assured me that they were extremely careful.
I must have been outside in the frigid cold for nearly two and a half hours searching from the deck area to down on the ground below and on the path behind the deck area, but there was no ring to be found. There were also a lot of underground cables and wires that the detector was picking up every which place. This was probably very frustrating for Kenny and Meg when they tried to use the rented detector, because there were too many distracting signals. Also, there were so many pull tabs and pieces of aluminum foil scattered about that it had to make their lives miserable trying to discriminate between treasure and trash. This is why most metal detectorists do not recommend people renting a metal detector or buying a metal detector for the purpose of searching out an area, because more times than not, their searches end up empty-handed, as well as their pockets!
After a few hours, I called it a night and promised them that I would work out my schedule to return the next day to attempt a second search. I'm a stubborn man and I will not be beat by any important piece of metal gone missing! Especially precious pieces of gold, silver and platinum!
So the next day I returned and searched for hours. I must have gone over the same areas a dozen times but nothing turned up. I searched the deck again, I searched the path, under the deck on my hands and knees, searching along the fence line and over on the adjacent neighbor's property just on the other side of the fence in case the ring flew over the fence and down the hill. I was getting a few good signals but no ring surfaced. I dug in the snow all over the area and nothing was turning up. Kenny would come out to check on me from time to time and I told him that the ring had to be here if he is was confident that it did not fall into the hands of someone walking on the path. He was pretty certain nobody had walked back there since the time of the ring's disappearance. Therefore, my last idea was to return to the deck for another search, but this time I would try something new. I knew that it was unlikely that the ring ended up in the location that I would check, but it was my last idea for the time being.
I decided to move all of the furniture to one side again and then begin to gather up all of the snow and ice that I had already checked along with snow and ice that had accumulated under the aluminum siding of the house that came down to where the deck joined the back of the house. I used my knife to sweep the "runaway" ice and snow out from those crevices and shoveled it all into the master pile in the center of the deck. It would mean that only a little bit of snow and ice that was not accounted for originally would be detected, so I wasn't very confident that it would make a difference, but I would try nonetheless.
Meg was at work and Kenny was inside when I took my detector and did a few swings over the master pile of newly gathered snow and ice and to my surprise a new signal and number that correlates with a white gold type of metal illuminated on the screen of my machine! My heart raced and I hoped so much that these numbers and tones were telling me that I had gathered up into the pile the gorgeous 1 carat diamond engagement ring that I had been looking for for so many hours! I got down on my knees and began to search the place that the detector was leading me to, and yes, there it was! The missing engagement ring was finally found! Apparently, it had ricocheted off of the decks railing and bounced onto the deck floor and landed under the aluminum siding of the house where the deck meets the siding. No metal detector would have been able to differentiate between the siding and the ring because the ring was stuffed underneath the siding on the deck, and the detector would have just picked up the siding before it could reach the signal pertaining to the ring! My knife apparently pushed the lovely piece of jewelry out from underneath its hiding place and into the main pile to be checked and that’s when I found it!
I was so relieved to have found the ring because I really only had one last option before having to start all over again and hope to somehow stumble over the spot that I must have constantly missed, even though I didn't think I missed anything at any place during all of the hours the night before and that day.
The best part of the recovery was doing a fake-out with Kenny when I asked him to come to the back door to ask him more questions about the disappearance of the ring. His face was just indescribable when he saw the amazing ring that he once had in his hand on the day that he proposed to Meg in Seattle, Washington. He gave me the best hug and we rejoiced together that I finally discovered the hiding place of that stubborn, but most fantastic looking gem!
Kenny then contacted his wife and you could hear how emotional Meg had gotten on the other end of the phone when she heard the wonderful news!
I love what I do for people because it's so rewarding to see the smiles and hear the sounds of relief when something so precious and so reflective of certain moments in time is recovered and returned to the finger, wrist, neck or ear of the owner who lost it!
I was just so happy and relieved for this lovely couple. I did not want to get stumped over this missing ring. It just was not going to happen. I packed my things up and agreed to stop by later so I could take a photo with the two of them and we could all watch the video of the moment that I found the ring and see Kenny's memorable reaction when the ring was revealed in my hand and he went bananas! That was a blast!
I left their property feeling so good about the end result! I pictured their upcoming October 11th, 2019 wedding to be a day when Meg's beloved engagement ring would be joined up with a lovely wedding band that Kenny will be placing on his bride's finger during that unforgettable autumn day to come! Congrats to Kenny and Meg for the ring returned to them and their wedding that will soon arrive!