Item Found:




Metal Detector Used:


Class ring returned after 44 years

Bari February 20, 2016

Being an outdoor enthusiast, I've always loved living in Connecticut. The ocean and some great saltwater fishing is forty-five minutes in one direction, and the mountains are less than two hours in the opposite direction. With that comes the opportunity to be outdoors all year long. Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and what used to be my favorite until recently. Ice fishing. One of the other things we have here in New England is history, and lots of it. Just driving around we're reminded of it since so much still remains. Back around May of 2014 while discovering a new outdoor hobby, I learned there's a lot of history hiding under our feet too. After seeing a friend's metal detector, I became intrigued by the opportunities. Hitting parks and yards to find coins, jewelry, and who knows what else. So I bought into the hobby and was out detecting in time for Memorial Weekend. In the time since, I've settled into a White's V3i, and use an MXT for cellar hole hunts. Not long after that I learned that all those stone walls we see everywhere meant something. 200+ years ago, much of New England was 20% forest, and 80% open area due to Colonial settlement. In the years since, Mother Nature has reclaimed much of her territory, and today we're roughly 80% forest and 20% open area. Hiding in those dense woods are the lost and forgotten home sites, mills, barns, and animal pens that were abandoned long ago. Cellar hole hunting is what I've come to love. Finding and preserving lost personal items such as buttons, buckles, coins, animal tack, and other bits of history from the 1700's and 1800's to display in my home is very satisfying. Having said that, the most satisfying moment of detecting came just recently. This past January 30th I went with some friends out in the woods and one stop was an early cabin site that was probably abandoned by the 1820's. After an hour or so, and some finds, my MXT gives me a tone and an ID in the low 40's that usually means some kind of button. I dig down 5 inches to my target, and it definitely wasn't a button this time. Staring at me is a men's gold class ring from 1971, and from the town we were detecting in. A little cleaning reveals three initials. The following Monday I place a call to the high school and talk to the administrative department about my find, and the desire to track down the owner. They were very cooperative, and the next day get a call back from the high school informing me that they had found and contacted the gentleman who lost the ring, and gave him my number. It didn't take long for Thomas to get hold of me, he was excited to see his ring again. It became apparent why upon meeting him. Only 63 years of age, but Thomas is in poor health, living in a retirement home, and doesn't have a car or even much family left. He uses a scooter to get around. Having a piece of his life back had an emotional impact on him that became obvious during our meeting. He had lost the ring back in 1971 while riding his dirt bike in the area we had been detecting, and told me had long since forgotten about it. He kept repeating over and over "I can't believe it". We chatted for an hour or two before I finally had to leave. Digging a 300-year old coin, or a rare item will probably never give me the same satisfaction as seeing Thomas reunited with that ring. It's something I won't forget either. That return is a perfect example of the adventures with a metal detector, and why I love the hobby. You never really know what's waiting for you under that next tone.

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