HERE ARE SOME OF MY RECOVERIES and RETURNS
I try to return as many items as possible.
(I lost several few stories during a file upgrade. I hope to recover them someday and re-post them)
Georgetown University class ring recovery.
March 28, 2004
Well here’s to another successful recovery. I got a call late Saturday night from a co-worker for another co-worker who knew someone that knew I metal detected (follow that?). Seems while playing tennis, his Georgetown University class ring flew off his finger. He and several others looked for hours but were unable to find it. They even rented a metal detector. They found it completely useless in the areas around the tennis courts. After several hours they gave up. That’s when I got the phone call. I arrived at the country club around 9AM the next day. After getting the complete download of what happened and surveying the area, I went back to my car to retrieve my detector. The area was crisscrossed with underground wiring and sprinklers. The courts were lined with a drainage culvert and beyond that was a flowerbed and sidewalks. The ring was supposed too be to big to drop thru the grating in the culverts. But I pulled off all the covers and checked, nothing. Time to use my old Garrett GTA500 with a 4” sniper coil. I looked in the area everyone was sure it was. But of course you never find these things where they think they were lost. The area was already very disturbed by the previous days efforts. But the area was very contained. If it were still there, I would find it. After the 1st hour of searching the obvious areas and having nothing to show for it but foil and old wire, it was time to expand the search area. I kept getting redirected by other by-standers and there theories and could never really concentrate till they left . Well the owner had all but thrown in the towel. He was ready to give up. I told him, I had till 6PM to find it (low tide down at the beach). He then suggested lunch. I told him to go ahead, just clear it with the county club for me to remain, and I would keep searching. I finally moved to the adjacent courts flowerbeds. The flowerbeds were lined with concrete and rebar. He came over and said, “lets go to lunch and come back later”. Then I got a big hit. I peeled back the bush and there the ring was. Propped up against the base of one of the bushes. I held it up and said, “Ok we can go now”. He had a big smile and so did his wife. Lots of others came by to see the recovery. The grounds keepers were amazed I had found it after everyone else had tried. The trajectory of this ring was amazing. He had lost it during a back swing. After leaving his finger, it traveled back to the fence that lined the court. Now the fence had a windscreen (mesh) attached all around except for a 3-4” opening at the base. Now the ring exited the court thought this opening without even touching the fence. It then passed thru the 1st set of dense bushes unimpeded. Then is skimmed the ground, crossed a 4 foot sidewalk and into another flowerbed. There it came to rest under a bush. Very nice ring in 18K gold. Here’s to another successful recovery !!!
Rare Gold Coin and Chain recovery
It was just another Monday at the print shop. Jim Stewart was getting ready for another week of work. In walked Lottci Vecsey (Pronounced "LOTCEE") looking very depressed. Jim asked Lottci what was wrong. All he got in reply was "I lost it'". Lost what Jim asked? I lost it as he padded his chest. What Lottci was referring to was a piece of Family history. Something he was supposed to pass on to his son. What was it? It was a large solid gold coin on a chain. A rare Austrian gold coin. This had been won as a prize many years ago as the Hungarian national boxing champion! Lottci had it mounted in a gold bezel and placed on a heavy gold chain. Not just priceless because it was a family air loom, but this was a very special coin. This was a 1st strike original coin. Some of these coins are available today as re-strikes, but not this one. This one was one a special few that existed. He even has documentation for the Austrian government giving its pedigree. Market value $10,000+ !!! (Personally it would have been in my safety deposit box, not around my neck). So how and where was it lost? It started on a Saturday as the family headed for Clearwater beach for weekend of fun. On Sunday Lottci and his son were out in waste deep water having fun. When his son tried to do a handstand in the water, Lottci showed him how to do it. After a few demonstrations Lottci stood up. Be he felt different, something was missing. As he reached for the coin around his neck he realized it was gone. It had fallen off his neck, as he stood inverted in the water. Quickly the 2 searched for the coin, but no luck. Soon other family members tried, but only in vain to locate the lost family treasure. Lottci realized it would problem never be found, let alone passed on to his son. After hours of searching, the family, grief stricken, returned to Palm Bay, without the prized gold coin and chain. After hearing this story, Jim being a member of the local metal detecting club, knew just what to do.
The scene now shifts to the following Tuesday. Enter a few hard-core members of the Treasure Coast Archeological Society. It was 6am in the morning, Lottci , Jim Stewart, Will Rose and myself piled into Lottcis very small economy car. With us, enough metal detecting equipment for a small army. 2 Excalibur’s, 3 Sovereigns, 1 Garrett XL500, scoops, extra batteries and coils, masks, snorkels, ice chests, plus a positive no fail attitude. This was a serious recovery operation. Nothing was left to chance. We wanted to have everything we might need and backup equipment.
3 hours later after a cross the state drive in a car crammed the equipment, we arrived at the site of the lost treasure. It was just as we planned, low tide. Lottci showed us the area where he thought was when he lost the coin and chain. We each entered the water in different locations.
After about 5 min I got my first hit. A pull-tab of course. This was followed by another pull-tab, 2 quarters, and three pennies. Will was having problems with the Excalibur that had been borrowed from Frank Hansen the night before. He was about to go get his Sovereign that was still in the car. Jim was out as far as he could get without giving his Sovereign a salt-water bath. Lottci was using Jims old Garrett XL500. This was his 1st day with a detector, a trial by fire for Lottci. After about 30 min the batteries on the XL500 gave up, Jim forgot to put them on charge the night before. So Lottci just sat depressed on the beach, hoping, (praying?) that one of us would get lucky. We had been in the water for a little over an hour and a half. Jim was still in the same basic area Lottci had shown him. Will had moved closer the shore. I was beginning to think we were too late. Maybe another detectorist had lucked into the area and made off with our treasure. Lottci had checked with the hotel, but nothing had been turned in or reported found. So I decided to move away from the original area. I looked at the beach area an noticed they raked the sand at night to clean the beach. All the chairs were on one half. Lottci was using the position of these chairs as a reference of the coins possible location. Maybe they move them all side to side at night to clean that area of the beach? So I moved with the current down about 50 yards. Thinking that this might be the area were the chairs were the day of the loss. 1st target? Another pull-tab of course. I was in 3 ft of water. Then I got a good hit. I tried to get the target with the first scoop. I rechecked the target area and it was still there. Even thought this was the gulf coast and very calm as compared to our east coast, I was having problems staying in one spot. The waves had picked up and being of small (thin) stature, I was getting pushed around. I tried again for the target with the scoop. Checking the target area, no sound, I must have it in the scoop. Boy did I have it; Looking down in the scoop was the biggest pile of gold I had ever seen!
There it was, a massive gold coin attached to a massive gold chain! I had found it.
I started waving frantically
to the others. The people on the beach probably thought I was under a shark
Will was the fist to see me waving; he knew I had found it. He got the others attention and Lottci
came running. I exited the water and walked up to Lottci holding the coin and chain. He could not believe we had found it. I handed it to him. I think I saw a tear or two in his eyes. He gave me a big hug. Then we all stopped to admire the recovery.
What a massive piece of gold
this coin was.
Bigger than a US silver dollar! The chain was huge by any standard, hand made in Europe of 18K gold, alone it weighed 80 grams!!!. What a gleaming pile of gold. The day had been a success.We decided to stay a little while longer. In that time Jim found a small ladies diamond ring. I found a few more quarters, a silver toe ring and a gold earring. Will had also found some more change. What a great day it had tuned out to be. What a great adventure we had under taken… mission accomplished!
Jim Stewart, Myself, Lottci, and Will Rose
1956 FORDHAM PREPATORY RING
Found this ring near Vero Beach in the summer of 2006. It’s from Fordham Prepatory School, N.Y. There was a name on the inside, but it was in script, worn and hard to read. Sent several emails to the school for information. Finally got an email from the school one day and they were in the process of helping me track down the owner for me. Got home one night and a had a message on my answering machine from the owner who now lives in S.C. Gave him a call back and he identified the ring exactly. He did not remember seeing the ring since 1956. (I think there was a girl involved) The ring is now home where it belongs.
The Lost Wedding Band
I got an email from a person seeking help in locating a lost wedding band. Seems he had lost it a few weeks ago while working in the yard. He had already had another person come and search for it with no results. He then rented a metal detector with the hope of finding it himself. Still no luck. That's were I came in. After reading his email I replied that I would be happy to try an help. We set time to met at his house later that week. When I arrived I noticed it was your typical Florida yard. Deep St Augustine grass and a little over a 1/4 acre.
He arrived and told me how he and his wife were working gin the yard that day. He noticed the ring was very slippery that day so he took it off and put it in his pocket. Later that night he went to retrieve the ring form his pocket and it was gone!
He showed me the areas he had worked that day. I grabbed my GARRETT GTI1500 and stated to work. I immediately started finding small pieces of aluminum all over the place. They had re-done his roof since the hurricanes of 2004. There was some kind of aluminum based nails and soffit trimmings all over the yard. This was going to make thing a little more difficult. These nails and aluminum shards were landing right in the pull tab zone on my detectors readout. This is were I expected the small gold wedding band to be. He then mentioned something about playing with his dog that day. I asked where that was was. He showed me that area. I thought to myself this would be the prime area to look. I began a slow girding of a 12' by 12' area. After digging more nails and aluminum pieces I got a silo nickel hit. I told him this was the best signal so far and it might be the ring. I got down on my knees and started using my small coin probe. I heard the nice sound of a "clink" against the probe. I pushed back the grass and there it was. On small men's 14K gold wedding band. I had only be searching for about 20 minutes.
Just a plain no thrills wedding band. But very important to him and his wife.
Another successful recovery and one happy ring owner.
University or Florida Class Ring
Hurricane bill had gone by a week earlier and had not produced any major erosion to my local beaches. Now Tropical Storm Danny was passing by. Low tide was at 10am or 10:30 pm. I could not make the morning low tide because of work, so I opted for the evening tide. Its cooler and there are less people on the beach to bother you. I called a fellow club member to join me. There was not much of a low tide that evening. The waves were coming up high and long. Not cutting the beaches, but pulling down the high sand and smoothing them out into one long slope. The closer you got to the water the mushier it got. After about 30 min and any only a few coins to for the hard work of battling the waves, I got a good hit. I stated working on recovering the target. I was really tuff battling the waves. They were crashing into my midsection. With it being 11pm at night, I did not want to get swept out. After 6 scoops into the soft sand I was about to give up. I was now soaking wet. I gave it one last scoop and a wave almost put me on my rear end. I rechecked the target area, no signal. But did I have it in my scoop? Did it sink further down in the soft sand? Or did I just plain loose it in the waves? I drug myself out of the waves and up to a high area on the beach. Dumped out my scoop and checked the pile with my detector. YES, target acquired!! I ran my hand thru the pile searcher for my prize. My fingers hit something large, something large and heavy. Probably a lead sinker I thought. I picked it up. In the half moon light I could see I had a class ring. I placed it in my pouch and continued to hunt. Later that night I got the ring home and cleaned it up a little. Here is what I had……
It was a University or Florida
Class Ring from the Class of 1983 with the fraternity logo on the top and a name
on the inside. It weighed in at 20 grams. A very nice looking ring with Gators
on the sides and a diamond in the fraternity logo.
With in an hour I was able to locate a site of the Beta Theta Pi Chapter at UF and they had an Alumni section. I scrolled down the list of names and there he was. There was an email address listed, but was it current? So I sent off an email. I put the fraternity name in the title so it would get his attention and hopefully not go into his spam or trash folder. I asked in the email…. Have you been to Vero Beach lately? If so, did you ever loose something or leave something behind? If so, please reply to this email. The next day I got a reply.
Yes he replied. “I visit Vero each year. I have lost a few things, sunglasses, class ring.”
I replied with my phone number and told him he should contact me, I might have something of his. He called and described the ring exactly so I knew it was his. He lived over near Tampa. I told him I would mail it to him. He said he would rather drive over and get it. Two days later we met. Here his getting back the class ring he lost over 2 years ago.
Sebastian High School class ring return.
The week started with my usual browsing of
Craig’s List for lost items. I always check the local lost & found
postings for items lost at the beach. Or checking to see if anything I found
might be posted as lost or to see if any has been lost in my area that I might
assist in recovering. I also post that I have found items and ask potential
owners to email me with descriptions for possible return.
In reading I found a post by a desperate mom. She was asking is anyone had found her daughter lost High School class ring. So I contacted the mom via email to see if there was something I could do. Her daughter had lost it almost a month ago and had just gotten around to telling her. Her mom was very upset as she had just made the final payment on the ring. Seems her daughter was at the beach one day and had taken off her ring and placed it on her towel. Of course we all know what happened next. When leaving she grabbed the towel up and shook it. The ring went flying. They looked awhile for it but to no avail. She emailed me back with which beach the ring was lost at. Well I know all the beaches in my area pretty well. I knew this was a very large beach and asked her to find out if her daughter could be a little more specific on the location and get a description of the ring. All she found out was it was to the right of the life guard stand and toward the unguarded area. Well at least my hunt area had been cut in half. But I got a good description of the ring. The ring was from Sebastian River High School, was silver with a pink stone that had a crown in it. It had a surfer girl on one side and the school mascot, a shark on the other. Also they had her initials where on the inside of the ring.
I could not get to the beach that evening because they lock the gates to all beach access around here at sundown and it was already getting late. So I would go the next evening right after work. When I arrived, the area between the life guard stand and the guarded/unguarded area signs was about the size of a football field. I decided to start at the far end and work my way back toward the life guard tower. I was using a 12” coil for max coverage. I was not concerned with depth on this hunt. I mentally pictured the area in 4 sections and would work each area. I hunted the first area but after an hour I started to think someone had wandered into the area with a detector and had already found the ring. I had zero targets. You see this is the “Treasure Coast” of Florida. Everyone here has a detector or knows someone who has a detector. Everybody looking for Spanish treasure hits these beaches while here on vacation. I rarely ever go to the beach without running into some else there with a detector. So you never know who had already been over the area. But after awhile I did find a few coins. So I thought I might get lucky and the ring was still there. Well after running a grid on the 1st section with no luck I stared on what I called the second area. I found a few pieces of junk and light aluminum. Then I got a good solid hit along the towel line. This is the area just above the high tide mark where most beach goers place there towels to lay on. I took a big bite out of the sugar sand with my scoop. As I lifted it up the sand poured out. And there is my scoop was the ring. I had found it. After laying there in the sugar sand for almost a month, it was now safe and ready to be reunited with its owner.
I could not wait to get home and call the owners mom. I called her up and she almost started crying on the phone. She could not believe I had found it. We made arrangements to meet a few days later and I handed her the ring. She would give back to her daughter later who not able to be there that evening. I got a very nice thank you card from them.
University of Virginia class ring
Well another ring returned !! It all started on the 4th of July.
The owner of this ring and his girlfriend had come up from Miami to get away to
some smaller beaches. It all went downhill from then on. 1st off some kids were
throwing a football around and hit his girlfriend right in the mouth busting
open her lip. Later they had a bad meal at a local restaurant. But then after
that he realized his University of Virginia class ring was missing. He had taken
it off as not to lose it in the water. He had put it in a side pocket of one of
their folding chairs they had. When they left, they just grabbed the chairs and
took off; not realizing the ring fell out of the side pocket. He went back
looking for it after they ate but cloud not locate it as it was now high tide.
Now it’s 12 midnight that evening. A few days before I get a call that a
friend that will be staying at a hotel at the beach so I arrange to go hunting
with him. He had been chatting with me a couple of days prior to his arrival
about the 1715 Treasure Fleet wrecks in the area. I called him to say I was now
at the beach and he said he would meet me for a little hunting. But a storm was
closing in and there was lightning off in the distance and closing in. But we
met anyway. He handed a small bag with some Minelab goodies in it for giving him
some insight into the area. He said we can just put it up in the bushes and I
could get it later. I said my truck is just back about 100 yards in the public
parking area. I will go put the stuff there. On the way I am just haphazardly
swinging my detector trying to get back to the truck so I could go back
detecting ASAP. It was then that I get a good hit, so I stop to dig this
"coin". I could not just leave a good signal there. Well BOOM, out
pops this GOLD class ring. I get so excited I don't go back to the truck but run
back to show Sal the ring. I could not believe it. On the beach for 5 minutes
and I got a gold ring. I was thinking yea Sal does not believe this, probably
thinks I brought it with me to try and look good. Well I did go put the bag of
goodies in the truck and we started detecting but the storm rolled in and after
15 min we were off the beach. Well the ring had the owners name engraved in it
so I went home the stating looking for the owner. I found a match using LinkedIn.
Name, education, BS in 2010. A few days later I sent him a message via the
Linked In site.. "Have you been to Vero Beach lately and if so, did you
lose something?" His reply was "Yes, he had been there on the 4th and
had a really bad time and had lost his University of Virginia Class
ring........had I found it?" I replied “Here is my phone number you need
to call me; I have something to give back to you “Well he could not believe it
had already been found. At 1st he wanted me to mail it to him, I said I would
but after the sorrow of losing it, now know you are going to get it back, what
if it gets lost in the mail? So a few days later he drove up and we met at the
local Cracker Barrel. Here he is picking up his ring!!
We then went inside and had a good meal!
Wedding band, Jaycee Park, Vero Beach, FL 2015
We had had a good NE wind for a few days and I had been hitting every low tidw for 4 day stright. I had not found anything but coins.
So I was out another day at a local beach. I had been metal detecting at that beach for a few hours. I was kind of down away from everyone.
I was taking a break and sitting on the edge of a small cut. I was drinking some water when a woman and small child came up behind me startling me.
She started trying to ask me questions but could not speak good English. She pointed to my metal detector then to her hand.
I realized after a few moments she was asking if the thing I had could find rings. I told yes, sometimes. She went on talking.
After awhile I gathered that her husband had lost his wedding band up in the park near the beach. She wanted me to see if I could find it.
I said I would go try. I go up to the park and there were several people walking around looking down.
I could tell they were searching for the ring. I asked if they knew where it might be.
They pointed to a large area about 100x100ft. I started searching.
I was told it was gold and was lost the day before. So I dug only low tones (gold) that sounded loud and not deep.
I never metal detect this part of the park because it has really nice grass and the grounds keeper does not like you digging there, plus it’s very full off trash.
After about 15 minutes and a dozen targets, I got the smooth sound in my headphones, loud and clear.
I got down on my knees and start moving the grass around. I pulled back a few blades of grass and there it was.
I held it up and they all cheered. I handed him the ring. She gave me a hug and then they all went back over to their pavilion.
No other words or anything. I did not have a camera to take any pictures. So I went back to the beach detecting.........
Here’s to another return.
Engagement Ring, Vero Beach, FL 2021
It was another night for me down at the beach detecting. Off in the distance I could see some people up near a hotel looking around with a flashlight. I could not tell from the distance if they were looking for something particular or just kids chasing crabs with a flashlight. When I got close, they had left and went back into the hotel. So just in case, I went up to the area where they were and started looking around. After about a minute I got a good hit with the detector. I reached down and ran my finger thru the sand. Up came a ring. I put it in my pouch a looked around some more. After a few minutes I took the ring out and looked at it. There was a very nice white gold (14K) ladies ring with lots of diamonds. It looked like the beach access to the hotel was locked. So I walked the couple of hundred yards back to my truck and drove down to the hotel. I parked out front and went into the lobby. There was 2 young ladies and a young man. They ask if they could help me. I asked, "anybody lose a ring?" All their mouths just dropped open. They said, "why yes". I said I had found something and did they have a description of the ring or a contact number. The dug thru a bunch of small scraps of paper on the desk, picked up the phone and made a call. They asked the lady on the other end of the call to describe the ring she lost earlier that day. It sounded close to what I had. They told her she might want to come back as they might have something for her. They said they were still in the parking lot and would be right in. They had drove back to the hotel that evening after checking out and then discovering the ring missing. 2 ladies came in and walked up to the counter (I had passed them in the parking lot when I was walking in). I asked her to describe the ring again. Then I held the ring out in front of her. She burst into tears and started crying. I was her engagement ring. I think there where some tears in the hotel staff’s eyes too. Later she offered me a crumbled up $20 bill, it was all she had left of her vacation money. I said no thanks. The reaction when she saw the ring was fulfillment for me. Another great return.
Car Keys, Cocoa Beach, FL 2021
My friend Skip and myself decided to go to Cocoa Beach Saturday night/Sunday morning. Low tide was around 1am. We arrived just before midnight. After being there for about 30 minutes I had found a set of car keys out in the surf. I could tell they were rental car keys from the way they had both set of keys bound together and a barcode tag on them. There were for a black Ford Excursion. I placed them in my pouch and on we went. Around 2 am we were leaving the beach. I told Skip, hey let’s see if the is a black SUV still in the parking lot. Sure enough, there in the parking lot near the beach access was a black Ford Excursion. As we were looking at it, some guy was over form one of the pavilions. Looked like a local "beach person". He said that’s not your car, it belongs to someone who lost their keys. Their coming back for it tomorrow to get it. I walked over the SUV and touch the door handle, it unlocked and opened. I had found their keys. Now what to do. I then relocked their vehicle. Lucky Skip had some paper and a pen in his car. Then I put a note under the wiper blade on the front windshield and under the wiper on the rear window. I wrote who I was, and that I had found their keys. I put my phone number on the paper and home we went. The next morning around 10am I got a call. We made arrangement to drive back to Cocoa beach (1 hour drive) and return the keys. I found out was getting ready to have a locksmith open and re-key the vehicle, at a cost of $450. But he found my note and called me. He was here with his wife an kids on vacation from Arizona. Glad I was where I was, when I was. He and his wife said I saved their vacation. Here is to another happy return.
Large Silver Ring November 2021
I was outside working on my in my yard when my neighbor from across the street walked over. Said a friend of his had lost a ring in a yard near me. My neighbor knew I metal detected and asked if there was a chance of me finding it. I said "possibly". I say that because you know really know the situation till you get to the scene. He told me his friend was at another friend’s house last week working on an outside electrical panel when he lost it. He had taken the ring off and placed in his pants pocket while he was working. Later he reached in his pocket and yep, no ring. So off I went to see if I could find it. It was a short drive just down the road. It was a nice newer house with a very thick lawn. But the grass had been mowed since the ring was lost. This is a problem sometimes as the mover will suck it up and blast it across the yard. I asked about the ring. he said it was large and silver. He and his wife had bought matching HIS and HERS rings while on vacation in Ireland. I asked to see her ring if possible. So, he drove home to get it. I then checked the on the side of the house near the electrical panel where he was working. Nothing. I then checked the direct route through the yard to the garage, nothing. I checked the edges of the driveway and sidewalk. Nothing but a few modern coins. He arrived with his wife matching ring. She had been reluctant to give it to him after he had just lost his. It was a very large and heavy silver ring. He said his was even bigger. After seeing is, I knew if the ring was there, I was going find it.After about 20 minutes of digging odd targets, I then expanded my search area. I then I got a hit. It was shallow and sounded like a quarter. I kneeled, pulled back the grass and there it was. I was all the way in the middle of the front yard. Some 30+ feet around the corner from the electrical panel where he was working. He and his wife were very happy. Another good ending and return.
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