LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Many know the devastating feeling of losing something valuable or sentimental, such as a piece of jewelry.
When I lost my family heirloom ring, a Kentucky community came to the rescue: The Ring Finders.
Right after Christmas, my aunt Denise Hansen gifted me a ring that’s been in the Miskell family for 113 years. My great-grandmother Lillian gave it to my aunt Denise when she was 19.
“Granny told me to always have it passed down to someone in the Miskell family and to cherish it and to be the oldest granddaughter of each family member. So, I cherished it and passed it on to Dani,” Hansen said.
The ring is gold and has the initials of my great-grandmother and great-grandfather inscribed on the inside, along with the date of their wedding, Oct. 26, 1910.
The wedding ring is now a family heirloom, but it was unexpectedly lost almost a week after Christmas when I got it.
One January morning, I was walking with my puppy, London, off-leash near a pond in Richmond.
A neighbor’s dog had started barking at her, and she reacted by barking back and running out onto the pond, which was frozen over.
The pond was covered in thin ice, and it cracked when she got to the middle of the pond.
When my puppy fell in and started drowning, I ran out into the icy pond to save her.
When I got out, I realized my family’s ring was missing.
I immediately went online to look for solutions to retrieve my missing ring and came across The Ring Finders.
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I met a Ring Finder named James Phelps who came out in March to help me find the ring, but we were unsuccessful. In October, I reached out to Phelps again, and he put me in touch with Mike Blankenship, a ring finder in Richmond.
Blankenship has been helping people find lost jewelry for eight years with his favorite metal detector.
“I tell everybody, I made it my third arm,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship also belongs to a metal-detecting club called “Central Kentucky Research and Recovery.” Blankenship knew to ask specific questions like how big the ring was or how many carats it was.
“All that little stuff. It really does matter, especially gold. Gold is super, super hard to find,” Blankenship said.
On Sunday, Blankenship met with me out back at the pond, and within 10 minutes, he made a golden discovery.
“I think it was the third signal that I got,” Blankship said. “It was kind of a high signal for gold. But luckily, we dug it up and I couldn’t believe it when I found it. I mean, it was deep in the muck. It was probably still six inches deep and when I smeared it, I was like, ‘You got to be kidding me.’ I’ll never forget that.”
Blankenship not only recovered the ring in record time, but he also recovered it almost 113 years from the date when it was originally inscribed.
For anyone who has lost a valuable piece of jewelry and wants a shot at finding it again, you can contact The Ring Finders or Blankenship.