Ring Finding Interview

Before driving to help someone find a ring, these are the questions I ask so that I know what I’m getting into and to lead the discussion.  It’s important that the ring owner think hard about their situation, and important to me that I don’t waste a trip:

  1. Did you feel the ring come off?
    … success goes way up.
  2. How big of an area was it lost in?
    … too much area, it’s often a lost cause.
  3. How long ago was it lost?   When did you notice it missing?
    … this gets them talking about the event / loss.
  4. Is it in water?
    … lakes, ponds, rivers are off limits for me.
  5. What material is the ring?   How thick is it?
    … gold can be a lot easier to find (low tones)
  6. Are there chain link fences nearby?
    … these affect the metal detector.
  7. Is there an invisible dog fence nearby (within 3 houses?)  Can you get it shut off?
    … a nightmare – detectors go nuts nearby, so find out who owns it so you can ask them to shut it off.
  8. How old is the property upon which it was lost?
    … how much other junk in the ground?
  9. How close to the road is it?   Is it a picnic area?
    … junk, junk, junk!  traffic, traffic, traffic!
  10. Was it lost near livestock?  What kind?
    … livestock eats rings and stomp them into the ground.
  11. What have you done thus far in searching?
    … get a sense for what they’ve done and how motivated they are.  I do not want to be taken advantage of.
  12. Were you wearing gloves when you lost the ring?
    … gloves can fling rings 30′ … and the ring can be in the glove still.
  13. Were you doing vigorous activity?
    … how far from their hand the ring may have flown
  14. Is the grass its in about to be mowed?
    … allows you to tell them to try to stop it.  Mowing throws rings.
  15. Is there anything metal covering the ground?
    … I once got called to a place that had 1/2″ mesh buried 2-3″ in the ground to keep the dog from digging.  No kidding.
  16. Has anyone else used a detector to look for it?
    … Unscrupulous detectorists may have come, found the ring and taken off..  sorry to say.
  17. Is there anything dangerous about the location?   
    … Include anything dangerous in the situation, dogs, including poison ivy, razor wire, alligators, etc.
  18. Is there dog shit on the ground where it was lost?
    … Until it’s cleaned up, I’m not coming over.  I hate dog shit on my gear and my feet.

I explain one recovery technique here.

Read about some of my recoveries here