Returning Those Lost Gold Rings
One of the most rewarding things in metal detecting is finding those gold rings. However, I must admit that as soon as I realize that the gold ring I've found is a class ring, there is a moment of disappointment. This is because I know that there is the likelihood that I will not be able to keep what I have worked so hard to find. My greedy eyes see dollar signs and I must admit, I am tempted to keep the ring and sell it for scrap. After all, I didn't get into metal detecting just to find and return what others have lostfoundrewards , did I? This is my greed finding a justification.
I have had to set my ethical standards in regards to metal detecting in order to feel good about myself and what I am doing. This is pretty much how I now deal with finding a returnable gold ring. If I am asked to specifically look for a lost gold ring, I have no problem doing so and gladly return the ring. If it's for someone I don't really know, I may or may not ask for some compensation for my time. If I find a class ring while out detecting and I was not asked to search for it, I deal with it differently.
The thing about class rings is that they usually have someone's initials on the inside of the band. If the ring is from a local High School, I go to the school and check out the yearbook for the year that you can usually find on the front of the ring. I try to match up the initials with names in the graduating class. So far, I have not found more than one person with matching initials. I will then explain to a school officials what I am trying to do and see if they can help me locate the individual. Because of privacy concerns, they usually contact the former student themselves and have them contact me. At times they have just given me the information.
I make a reasonable attempt to return the ring, but I do not go to the extreme of spending money to advertise to find the owner. If the owner of the ring does not contact me after I've made several attempts to contact them, I keep the ring. The key here is to try make a reasonable attempt.
I've returned many gold rings to people in the past and will continue to do so. I once even managed to find the owner of a ring that had been lost for 54 years. As in that case, sometimes the good feelings you get in returning a ring that may have sentimental value to the original owner is worth more than the gold itself.