MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Meet The Ring Finders, a group reuniting couples with lost wedding rings

Feb 14, 2021, 6:58 AM | Updated: 7:53 am

rings, ring finders...

Wedding rings. (Jeff Morgan)

(Jeff Morgan)

On this Valentine’s Day, let’s go on a hunt for symbols of love gone missing.

Weddings rings are some of the most common pieces of jewelry married couples lose. More than 10% of people have lost their wedding ring in the past five years, according to British insurance company Protect Your Bubble.

Now, a growing network of treasure hunters, known as The Ring Finders, are on a mission to reconnect married couples with missing rings.

Julie Meador realized she lost hers after finishing a round of golf near Wenatchee, Wash., and noticing a hole in one of her pockets.

“I put my jacket on and my rings were gone out of my pocket,” Meador said. “I was like literally freaked out.”

Her wedding ring of 25 years and an anniversary ring were both gone.

“I was like, ‘how am I going to tell my husband this because he was in a foursome behind me,’” she said. “My heart hurt.”

The Meadors scoured the golf course over the next two days, but the rings never turned up. Then their search went online, where they came across TheRingFinders.com, a directory of more than 500 metal detector do-gooders who help strangers find lost items.

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“We’re actually going out and helping people recover things that have deep, sentimental value,” said Jeff Morgan, a Seattle-area ring finder, who joined about five years ago.

Since then, he’s recovered more than 50 wedding rings. He’s found them in backyards, in the snow, on shorelines, and even scuba diving in Puget Sound.

“It’s more than just a hobby, per se. It’s really become more of a passion to help more people,” Morgan said. “When you get that recovery moment it’s just like, ‘ah, yes, another ring saved.’”

One of Morgan’s recent missions took him to the golf course where Julie Meador lost her rings.

“I think he talked to the founding guy of Ring Finders about my situation and that guy was like, ’18 hole golf course? Odds are not good.’”

Chris Turner is CEO of The Ring Finders, which he founded in 2009. He was inspired by his first ring hunt as a teenager in the early 70s.

“I found my neighbor’s ring that was lost in her garden. The look on her face, I’ll never forget that. She just froze. She was stunned,” Turner said. “I got an apple pie on my doorstep for a year every Friday, so I was very happy about that.”

Today’s Ring Finders don’t accept baked goods as payment. In fact, they only ask for donations because Turner insists the business is not about making money.

“Why do I do it? I do it for the smiles. I really do,” Turner said. “I absolutely love what I do. It’s the best job I ever had — once you experience returning something to someone, you’re hooked.”

As for Julie Meador, she went searching for her ring with Jeff Morgan three weeks after it went missing.

Four hours into the hunt, they reached the 15th hole, when Morgan’s metal detector came to life.

“We’ve got your ring,” Morgan said to Meador.

“That’s the one I really wanted,” Meador responded, as she started crying. It was her wedding ring.

Moments later, Morgan found her other diamond in the rough.

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Meet The Ring Finders, a group reuniting couples with lost wedding rings