The Lost Ring Story

Hi Vlad and Carol,
Before I get into my story, I would like to say I enjoyed reading the stories you have on your website, and would like to thank you for the information you provide on the site as well.

I am a definite newbie to metal detecting (2 weeks) and would like to share a lost ring story with you.

A couple of weeks ago, a buddy at work gave me a metal detector he was no longer using. Believe it or not, it is a Discovery 1000 Radio Shack cheapie, but a metal detector nonetheless. (I can hear you laughing now.)
We talked about the different types of places he has searched with it, and some of the things he had found while using the Discovery 1000. He said he mainly used it on the beach and was able to find recently lost coins, but was not sure of the depth range when finding "older" lost coins. Okay, cool. I will see what I can do with it, I told him.
When I first brought the metal detector home, my landlord said, "Maybe you can find the wedding ring, Cathy (my ex wife), lost 10 years ago." I'm thinking... sure I will give it a try. (Not being really sure if this thing even worked to begin with.)
The weekend before Thanksgiving 2010, I set out to find a lost wedding ring. Shirley (my landlord) told me how the ring was lost, and gave me a general idea of the two locations the ring may be in... the flower bed in the front yard or the small wooded area where the shrubs were moved to. I knew the small wooded area would be filled with shell casings from years ago, when we had a firing range set up on the property. Hunting this area may get a little "ho hum" after a while.
Saturday morning I was up, and with new batteries in the Discovery 1000, and a game plan in mind, I hit the yard with trowel, drop cloth, and metal detector in hand. I turned the machine on and headed straight for the flower bed. I was sure I was going to find the ring in no time at all. (remember I'm a newbie using a cheapie) On the way to the flower bed, I was searching the usual path that Cathy would take when walking to the house, and got a hit.
Now, to say the Discovery 1000 has great pinpointing abilities would be far from the turth, but I got as close as I could to the center of the target, and pulled a penny from the ground. Two hours later, I had dug up a couple of old spark plugs, more nails than I could count, some unidentifiable pieces of metal, scrap aluminum siding, and 49 cents... but no ring. I had to stop for the day as it was my day to babysit the grandson and I didn't want to be late.
Sunday morning I was up bright and early, and after a few cups of coffee, I was out in the yard again. I headed to the flower bed (being sure I would find that elusive ring), and began "grid" searching. My first hit was an old hot wheels car the kids used to play with, buried about 4 inches in the ground. Into the pouch it went. (Which, by the way, was cleaned up, and my grandson now plays with it.) After about 5 hours of searching, I had found another hot wheels car, (that looked as if it lost the demolition derby}, more nails, scrap metal, and another 43 cents. Then I had to quit for the day to babysit my grandson.
The day before Thanksgiving, we left work early. One of my buddies at work, told me about a house that was built in the 1800's, that was on 35 acres of property that his family once owned. He said he would see if we could get permission from the new owners to metal detect around the yard of the old house. As the day came to an end, there was no phone call, so I made plans for the following day to hit one of the local beaches for a few hours before Thanksgiving company started to arrive.
Thanksgiving Day I was up bright and early at 5:15am. With my coffee made and mug filled, I loaded up the car and headed to the beach of choice. I figured I would roll up and see the beach loaded with treasure hunters, who would be rolling on the ground laughing at my $40.00 machine. To my surprise, I had the beach all to myself and found another 40 something cents, in the 5 hours of cleaning the beach of junk for the county. Did I mention during this whole time, I was using the "all metal mode?" I know it works...that's for sure!
Thirst and hunger got the best of me. I forgot my little Igloo cooler filled with snacks and drinks, which was happily sitting on the dining room table awaiting my return from the beach. So I headed back to my car, packed up and started home. Not without stopping for a snack and a drink of course. About 30 minutes after I got home, company started arriving. First to arrive, were my nieces and nephew, Jennifer,Whitney and Mike (Jens husband). As we sat outside talking, I was telling them of my adventures in trying to locate the lost wedding ring, and some of the finds I had made while searching.
After a while, Mike was getting more interested in the metal detector. So we grabbed it out of the car, and headed off to a recently logged area, just to see what we may find. Mike with metal detector in hand, found an old shotgun shell which had never been fired. We worked our way around the logged area, and with Mike standing 6 feet tall, he had no trouble getting around. On the other hand, at 5'6" I could not be seen, because of all the growth that had spurted up, since the area was logged hid me very well. We spooked up some deer (a couple of doe and a nice buck), as we worked our way around to the edge of the clear cut towards my ex wife's house. Back at Shirley's house, my niece Whitney joined up with us, as we started going around the small wooded area looking once again for the lost ring.
Some hits revealed brass .22 casings from the years we had the firing range set up, and more scrap metal. After about 15 minutes, Mike gave up on that area and headed toward the flower bed. A couple of minutes later, I heard a small, almost half beep, as Mike waved the metal detector back and forth. He never got a solid signal, but decided to dig anyway. After a couple inches, we waved the metal detector over the hole, and got a solid signal. I told him to dig a little deeper. Another couple of inches, we checked the dug-out dirt, and still nothing. We checked the hole again, and got an even stronger signal! "Dig some more!" I told him (being quite sure he had just found a buried cache of some more scrap iron.)
After digging about 6 inches down, Mike was rummaging through the dirt he dug out of the hole with me watching him. I happened to glance down into the hole, and saw something peeking just out of the side of the hole. I said, "Mike, you found it!" He said, "What?" I said, "You found it! You found the ring!" I reached in and pulled out the wedding ring Cathy lost 10 years ago. There it was... yellow and white gold. I rubbed what dirt would come off of it, and showed it to Mike. All he could say was, "Talk about beginners luck!" I asked him if he wanted to give her the ring, and he said, "No, you can." So I stuck the ring in my pocket, and we headed off to Cathy's house.
ringWe walked in the door, and everybody asked if we had found anything good. We told them no. Cathy was sitting at the table and I walked up to her, and said Happy Thanksgiving.... pulled the ring out of my pocket, and put it on the table. Her eyes got big and wide, as she screamed, "You found it! I can't believe you really found it!" Both her and her husband were very happy, and it really made for a great Thanksgiving for everybody. It was also the talk of the dinner table as nobody could believe after all these years, the ring they thought was lost forever was really found.
The Discovery 1000 has served it's purpose, and I am now in the market for a good starter machine, and I'm considering the Fisher F2. But I wanted to share this story, because sometimes it's not how much you spend on the machine, but how you use it, that can make all the difference in the world (and a lot of luck!) Attached to this email you will find a few pictures of the ring.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
Have an awesome day!
James K.