« Back to Finds Posted June 1st, 2011 by Deldon

Item Found: Returned

Location: Illinois

Metal Detector Used: Other (800-0298)


June 1st, 2011
Dear White's,

I got a call last spring around mid April from a lady who told me a story about a ring she had lost. It all began in 1959 when she was 9 yrs old. She had been playing dress up in her moms room and had been putting on her moms costume jewelry... except one piece she had put on was a "butterfly" gold ring with a diamond in the center and 8 other gems in the wings (a birthstone ring) from her Great grandmother who had passed it down to her mother and one day to her…but not yet, not at the age of 9 in 1959.

Her Mom told her that one day the ring would belong to her. A few days later she had become obsessed with the ring and snuck it out of her mom's jewelry box and wore it to school one day, a small 2 room school house, out in the country, 12 miles from the nearest town. My first thought was "Oh wow, like Little House on the Prairie", then she asked me to go find the ring…I was doubtful that I could locate the ring. 51 years had passed and she had no idea where on the playground she lost it.

Myself and my "team" got permission from the church that now owned the school house building to do our search. When we got to the site we staked out and gridded the property, she said she had lost it on the playground, so we headed there first. After about 3 hours we realized that where we were searching had been back filled with about 10 inches of dirt since my metal detector had found a Mt. Dew can about 10 inches down in the ground near the swing set and there was a date in the concrete of the swing set dated 1979. We were a little frustrated by now and not sure what to do, so I called Jean and asked here where exactly she used to play.

Evidently where we were searching had been where the outhouses and trash pits had been back in 1959 and there was a foundation there as well that we later found out was the horse barn. Jean explained that the old playground was to the east of the school house about 100 yards from where we began our search.

We decided to pull up our stakes and grid the east side of the building, and within an hour my White's IDX Pro got a sweet tone that I have know to be the sound of gold, it was pretty feint but it was there none the less. I made a wide divot so as not to damage whatever was in the soil with my digging tool. I pulled out a plug about 7 inches wide and about 10 inches down then scanned the whole with my PinPointer. Nothing, that was good news because that means whatever it was, was in the plug of soil I had dug up.

I scanned my PinPointer around the plug and bingo, she started chirping away, within moment I began to break the plug apart until I found the object of my search, the amazing thing about gold is it never Rust or corrodes, 51 years in the dirt and it still gleamed. The stones and mountings were caked with dirt and grime but after taking it home and cleaning it up real good it looked as good as new. I called Jean in Florida and told her the good news, she cried and thanked me endlessly, I shipped her the ring and a week later she sent me $1000 and a thank you card. I was blown away, she didn't have to do that but it was greatly appreciated, I split the money with my team and we donated 25% to the American Cancer Society.

Deldon (IL)

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