Hopefully you never find yourself feeling panicked, frantically searching for your lost wedding ring. But if you do, local business owner Dan Roekle, of Lost & Found Ring, is the person to call! He specializes in finding lost rings and can help you conduct an efficient search while the clock is ticking. We recently spoke with Dan about his business and some of the common calls he receives.
What exactly is a Professional Ring Finder and what inspired you to start searching for rings?
I started metal detecting as a hobby and to spend time with my two kids. We mostly searched for lost pocket change in parks and playgrounds. One day, I saw a post on Madison Craigslist Lost and Found section for a lost men’s wedding band. The couple knew the general location where it was lost but couldn’t find it in the long grass. After less than 15 minutes of searching with a metal detector, we found the lost ring. Being able to return something as precious as a lost wedding band to someone is amazing. The couple surprised us with a very generous reward, which we immediately used to upgrade our metal detector. I officially started Lost and Found Ring, LLC in 2015 and have been finding lost rings ever since.
Should I rent a metal detector first before calling you?
I actually don’t recommend renting a metal detector. The cost to rent a metal detector is sometimes more expensive than just hiring me! Most people have never used a metal detector before, and learning how to use one while looking for a lost ring is far from ideal. Unfortunately, most people quickly become frustrated after finding nails, trash and other junk and end up giving up all together. Also, most metal detector rentals are not top of the line nor are they regularly maintained. One client told me that after searching for an hour, he threw down a pocketful of coins onto the ground. The metal detector wouldn’t pick up a single coin … and then he determined the metal detector wouldn’t even turn on! We have multiple high end metal detectors and years of experience. Don’t rent a metal detector – just hire a ring finder.
How much does it cost to hire you? Is it expensive?
Not at all, I only charge a small “call out fee” to perform a search. In the Madison area, it’s $25 for land and $50 for water searches. We do travel around Wisconsin, with most of our hunts actually taking place 1-2 hours outside of the Madison area. For these longer distance searches, I typically charge enough to cover gas and expenses and then work on a reward basis. If I find your ring, you agree to give us a reward that you feel is fair for the service we provide. I then use the reward money to buy additional equipment and donate a portion to my kid’s school.
What steps should I take if I do happen to lose my wedding or engagement ring?
Time is the number one enemy when searching for a lost ring, so go to my website www.LostandFoundRing.com and call me right away – anytime day or night. Next, mark the location where you lost your ring. If you lost your ring on land or in the sand, use some sort of marker like a stick or large object. If the ring was lost in the water, then drop 5-10 quarters in the general location you think it was lost. If you are in the middle of the lake, use your phone to record the GPS coordinates of the location. In either case, take some pictures of the area with your cell phone to document the location. The actions above have been the deciding factor in many of my lost ring searches, without them we would not have found the couples lost ring.
What if I lost my ring years ago, is there any hope?
There is absolutely hope. We’ve found rings that have been lost for years – 14 years being our current record. If you have a good idea of where and how you might have lost your ring (i.e. raking leaves, washing the dog, throwing a football in the water, etc.), the ring might still be there. We found 2 rings in the water that were lost for 7 and 5 years and were able to return both to the owners!
What if I lost my ring in the water? Is your metal detector waterproof?
Crazy as it might sound – yes. All of our metal detectors are waterproof and able to be fully submerged underwater. I can search up to 6 feet of water, and possibly deeper depending on the situation. Surprisingly, sometimes searching in the water with a metal detector can actually be easier than lost ring searches on land. This is because there is typically less trash in the water than on land.
How many lost rings have you found and returned with your metal detector?
As of the first part of 2017, we have found and returned 47 wedding, engagement and class rings to couples throughout the state of Wisconsin. We have also found earrings, necklace pendants, a rosary, cell phones, prescription glasses, car keys and key fobs. I’ve also been hired twice to search for a buried cache of silver coins in the backyard.
What are common ways people lose their wedding and engagement rings?
Not having your ring properly sized is the number one reason why people lose a ring. Other common activities are playing in the water (cold water cause fingers to shrink), doing yard work and playing sports. It is also common for someone to apply sunscreen in the summer, but first take off their rings and set them down on a blanket or towel… and then remember as they are shaking out or folding up the blanket. You’d be amazed how fast a ring can disappear in the grass, sand or in the water.
Most rings are covered by insurance, right?
False. If you are not 100% sure, please call your insurance agent today to check. Most people who call me are distraught over losing their ring, only to be dealt another blow when they discover their ring is actually not insured. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover jewelry. You need to have a special “rider policy” in order for them to be covered.