Metal Detector Used: Coinmaster Series (NONE)
Over the years of metal detecting, each one of us has found a piece of jewelry. Some ‘pluggers’ are luckier than others and find more than average pieces of jewelry (not counting beach combers). I have found several rings over the years, one of the keepers I found was a gold wedding band engraved EMH to AER, Sept. 7th 1881. For years I wore this ring and showed if off when asked what I found. Another ring was a 1943 half pounded into a ring. You could look inside the band and see a lot of detail from the half dollar.
Two rings that stay in my memories are the two I gave back. One summer my wife and I packed the kids up and went to Wahoo Nebraska to visit her older sister. As always, I also packed up my White’s detector just in case I got some free time to go wandering. My brother-in-law is a minister which kept him busy most of the time, so while my wife and her sister visited through the day, I started walking around town getting permission to detect yards. One morning, I stopped in a local restaurant to get breakfast and started a conversation with a fella sitting at the counter. He asked about the detector and if I was having any luck. So I showed him what I had found along the sidewalks earlier that morning and told him that I had been asking to do yards and was having pretty good luck. I asked if he lived near and could I detect his yard. One of the things I do when asking permission to detect someone’s yard is to ask if they lost anything. If they had, I asked for a description of what they lost and I will return it. So this fella tells me that he only lived a couple of blocks away and sure, help myself to his yard and good luck. Then he tells me that his son lost his class ring in the front yard and if I find it could he have it back, and if I do find it just knock on the door and give it to his wife. I told him that I would be glad to return it, so off I went to conquer another yard.
When I got to the house, I found a very small front yard and a large back yard. I turned my detector on and started to tune it in and I was getting a hit immediately. I plugged the grass and there it was a big hunk of gold class ring. So I dropped it in my nail pouch and finished the front yard. Before I went to the back yard I knocked on the door and the man’s wife answered the door. I introduced myself and told her that her husband asked if I found the class ring to give it to you. I handed her the ring and she started crying????? I did not know what to do, so I asked her if she was OK and she told me that soon after her son lost the ring, he was killed in an accident and she was very grateful to have the ring. It doesn’t matter what else I found that day, the joy of returning that ring was worth more than anything I found.
The second ring was found on Easter Saturday, my mother and I was detecting an old neighborhood and got permission to detect a yard. The yard was not very big, so with two of use it would not take long to cover. Right after we started the lady of the house came out and told us that she lost her mother’s ring in the front part of the yard, and if we find it could she have it back. Of course we agreed and she then tells us that they were going to Saturday mass around the corner. About twenty minutes after they left, my mother dug up the ring. So we finished detecting the yard and head over to the church.
Now, if any of you readers are Catholic, you know what I’m walking into. It’s an old neighborhood; most of the parishioners are just as old and dressed in their finest. I’m in my ‘detecting clothes’, full of dirt, hands looking like I’m wearing gloves and dirt smudges on my face. So into the church I come. Being Catholic myself, I step in cross myself and stood in the back of the church looking for the lady. Well I found her; of course she is sitting near the front of the church. Now, do you all remember the movie when Tom Sawyer walked into the church after being thought dead? The preacher staring and as he walked forward everyone else started staring? Great!!
I walk down the aisle to the lady, the priest is continuing his sermon but looking right at me, and everyone else is watching. I hand the ring to the lady and tell her Happy Easter and God Bless. The look on her face was worth more than the price of the ring. I smiled, turned around and made a very quick exit. My mother asked if I found the lady and I told her what happened and told her that she should have gone in instead of me. She laughed and said that is why she sent me. Thanks mom. I always wondered what the conversation was with that lady when church services were over.
Detecting has brought a lot of joy and fun to my life, detecting with my mom and brothers, traveling to out of the way places, meeting people, and sitting with older folks, listening to their stories which might give me another lead to a forgotten place. But I guess that if I had to pick what I liked best, I would have to say returning lost items to their rightful owners.
Good Luck & God Bless
Still ‘Plugging Along’