Barbara Galambos, Author at The Ring Finders

Platinum wedding band lost in the ocean found and returned in St. Augustine!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been contacted by someone though so I was excited when I received a phone call today asking if I’d go look for a Platinum wedding band that was lost at dead low tide in about waist deep water three days earlier.  The wife, Lauren, had found this site while researching about her husband Scott’s lost ring.  I have to admit I was reluctant to go due to the conditions but I geared up and went to the location.   The couple gave me EXCELLENT land marks to go by to narrow down the search.  I hit the beach at about an hour before low tide and found the ring in about 45 to 90 minutes.  Fast for me, it usually takes much longer but this was maybe just meant to be 🙂  I’m thankful to God that this one went so well!

This is the 41st ring I’ve been able to return to the owner.

Update:  Scott just texted me and told me I should title this “The Faith Return”.  He went on to tell me that even though he lost his wedding band he was somehow at peace as if he knew everything was going to be alright.  He had no idea how everything was going to be alright but he had faith that it would.

I have to say on a personal level Scott and Lauren restored MY Faith and I’m pretty FaithFULL.. usually.   But Tuesday and Wednesday I went on a ring recovery for a very expensive, custom made,  family heirloom ring.  That ring is an 18K gold large men’s band with 18 diamonds and a nice size ruby in the center.  The ring was part of a wedding ring set, one for his wife, one for himself, made from a family heirloom watch.  It was incredibly sentimental to them as most wedding bands are and he’d lost it in the ocean Sunday.

On Monday through Facebook someone tagged me in the post about his loss and I was out of town so could not go look for it.  I asked Dick if he’d go and he agreed to.  He looked for hours on Monday without luck then asked if I could cut my trip short to go look with him. I agreed and drove home a day early.  Tuesday we both looked for hours without success even though the husband met Dick Monday to show Dick where he lost it and again came to the beach the second day to show me as well.   On Wednesday I contacted a witness to the loss to see if she remembered where exactly the couple was that lost the ring as she was there when it happened and was the one that posted about it on a local Facebook page.  With a bit more information from her we determined we needed to extend our search further North. We finally found it, further North,  after several more hours searching.

We had record heat here this week, nearly 100 degree and it was a brutal, and I do mean brutal search.  By the time we found it we were both physically in a world of pain and both of us felt like we’d been in the oven for 2 and 3 days.  When we returned the ring they offered us $200.00 for our time.  $100.00 each.   Now I’m the kind of person that does not care too much usually about the money but I have to admit I lost a bit of faith in humanity at such a low reward after so much hard work.  I honestly felt like just taking a break from searches for people for awhile.  Did I mention it was the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during and after Memorial day?  That’s a time when we all want to be detecting those more crowded beaches.  We look forward to that for months and here we were missing it to do that search.

It was a perfect storm bad hunt except that we found the ring in the end.    I hesitate to even post this as I’m not a petty type of person and honestly I didn’t even ask for a reward or even a fee to go look for it.  I simply heard it was lost, contacted the person and jumped right on it.  I know better than to do that so it’s really my own fault that I was let down.   And after all, people pay what they can afford and perhaps that was all they could afford.

The next day,  Thursday, which is today,  I just packed up my things to go detecting for ME.  Me time 🙂  Finally I’d get to go see if anyone lost anything that had not already been found by others detecting and just as I was about to leave the phone rang and it was Lauren.  I did not want to go on this search.  The conditions were bad and the timing was bad.  There was only a very short window to look as they had lost it waist deep at near dead low tide.  But something made me say yes.  I said my usual prayer asking God to help me find it and that His will be done on this search.  I even got a text from Lauren saying she was praying that I would find it and added the praying hands icon.  I appreciated that.

When I found the platinum ring and returned it to Scott he handed me $500.00 as a reward.  So yes Scott, yes I’ll call it the Faith return but not only because you had faith it would be okay but that you filled my spirit with faith again.  I feel blessed just having met both of you.    May God bless you in return!



Ring Lost on honeymoon near Washington Oaks State Park found and returned!

  • de St. Augustine (Florida, United States)

I received a phone call from a young man who had just gotten married.  He stated he was on his honeymoon at his friends home not too far south of Washington Oaks State park and swimming in the ocean when his wedding ring fell off.   I was out of town so I called my friend Dick to see if he could go look for it and like a true hero he was happy to go look.   After some searching in the very mushy soft sand Dick came up with the ring and made one newly married couple very happy!

I’d like to say again how happy I am to be able to help people get back and item they thought they may never see again.  The sentiment behind the ring was not replaceable.   While I was not able to go find the ring myself I feel blessed to have a great friend that also metal detects who is willing to take the time out to help me help others.  Thank you Dick!  Your friendship is irreplaceable!



Lost Wedding Band at St. Augustine Pier found and returned!

I got a phone call from Monica who found my name on She asked if I’d be able to try to locate her husband Mason’s wedding band that he had lost at the beach. The night before he was digging a hole in the wet sand and they thought that was most likely the spot the ring had come off. It was also possible that it was lost while he was swimming but much less likely as he was pretty sure he remembers he still had it after leaving the water.

I started my search early that day as the tide was high and planned to work the wet sand as the tide went out. It was important to me to get there early as the beach is hammered by other people metal detecting and I wanted to lay claim to the area. Though it was possible the ring was already recovered by another metal detectorist the night before I took my chances and started my search. As I got to the beach I noticed there were already other people detecting nearby. To cover the ground quicker I first used my White’s DFX with my Bigfoot coil. After over an hour of searching with that coil and pretty confident I’d covered the area he thought he had dug the hole I decided to switch to my Minelab Excalibur detector which goes a bit deeper. About hour later, after gridding the area in different directions I finally heard a very deep but very faint tone which turned out to be his ring.

As I left the beach I called the couple and told them that I had searched and searched but could not search anymore. Monica replied sadly “I understand.” But I then explained “The reason I can not search any longer is because I found it!” Needless to say they were both elated. They were visiting the lighthouse when I called them so I arranged to meet them there to deliver the ring. Ring return number 37! Monica told me they considered buying a new ring if this one was not found but her husband said “It would not have our first two years of scratches on it.” The sentiment behind a piece is why I do what I do. There is nothing like handing something back to someone that they thought would be gone forever. I am indeed blessed!

Expensive wedding ring set found and returned in Palm Coast Florida

  • de St. Augustine (Florida, United States)

This is a true story of how great this network of people is and the metal detecting community as a whole even if not members of this site. I got a phone call from Mary Beth who is a friend of Mary Helen. Mary Helen had lost her wedding ring set in front of one of the nicest resorts in Palm Coast. Mary Beth found fellow member Mike McInroe from Sanford Florida on The Ring Finder’s site. Mike was out of town and unable to go look for the rings but suggested to Mary Beth that she try calling me.

I was about 40 minutes away and it was now dark and raining but after hearing the set was lost in the dry sand and they knew a general area where to look and could meet someone there I decided to try to see if my friend Dick would go help her as he only lives about 5 minutes from the resort. Dick had his son from out of town visiting and was in the middle of doing something with the family when I called. After telling him the details he agreed to change his plans and go look which saved me a long drive. Thanks Dick! Dick is a great friend and has been detecting for decades and is great at what he does. I had confidence he could find them and trusted him enough to ask him to help. Dick is one of the most honest and caring people I know.

Dick met Mary Helen on the beach and started a grid pattern in the dark to locate the sentimental lost jewelry. It wasn’t long before Dick’s head lamp battery died and he had to finish the search in the dark. Each target he dug he had to feel in the scoop to “see” what it was. After about 20 minutes he located the first ring and probably expected the second ring to be right there with it but it took another five minutes to find the other as they were not right next to each other.

Mary Helen then got both rings back. She had stated the rings were insured but it was the sentiment behind them that could not be replaced. She was elated to get both back and today they are back on her finger.

I love this site and how easy it is for us to reach out to one another to help find sentimental lost items. This was another great ending! Special thanks to Mike McInroe for putting Mary Helen in touch with me and an extra special THANK YOU to Dick who changed his plans and ended up searching in the dark and in the rain.

Three lost rings at Flagler beach found and returned!

  • de St. Augustine (Florida, United States)

Ring return 27 A

Ring return 27 B

Ring return 27 and ring return 6 through TheRingFinders! Friday evening as I was coming home from metal detecting in Daytona with my friend Dick I got a phone call from Todd who is from Orlando who stated his wife had lost her wedding rings at Flagler beach the day before and could I help find them.
Todd’s wife Ann Marie took the children to the beach and as she was putting sun tan lotion on everyone she decided to put her wedding rings and a third ring into her sons bathing suit pocket for safe keeping until she was done. However she got distracted and before she knew it the boys were boogie boarding in the waves. Twenty minutes later she remembered the rings and called her son out of the water only to see both of his pockets now inside out, the rings gone.

Hysterical she immediately called her husband who got right online to research how to find a lost ring in the ocean when he came across The Ring Finders site. Initially he called someone from Daytona to help but that person was in Chemo Therapy at the time and could not come but he immediately gave Todd instructions for his wife to take exact notes of where they were on the beach. Todd and Ann Marie were astonished that someone in that type of treatment would take almost an hour talking with them to help them get the rings back. It’s important to know what time the rings were lost, what was the tide at that time, how far out were the boys, where exactly were the boys. He told her how to carefully take notes on the location and to document them while he would try to find someone else to go search. That member contacted a metal detecting group in the area who sent out two people to meet Ann Marie at the same spot but after hours of searching they could not find the rings.

Todd then tried my number. It just so happened that I was about to be passing Flagler Pier on my way home so after getting detailed descriptions of exactly where they lost the rings Dick and I decided we had about 30-45 minutes of light left before the sun set and though we were already sore from the two plus hour hunt in Daytona we decided to stop and search. As the light faded we could not find the rings.
I called Todd and told him we had not found them but explained that if he could meet us at Flagler beach the next morning at 7 a.m. for the low tide we’d search again. Todd excitedly agreed. The next morning we arrived at the beach at 6:50 and geared up. Dick started searching in the water right away and as I was gearing up Todd and Ann Marie pulled into the parking area with their two boys.

After the usual greetings and then a detailed repeating of the story of how the rings were lost I got to searching. We worked together in the same area as the family watched. I concentrated on the wet sand as Dick worked in the water. One hour passed and no rings, then two. Our friend Jim showed up to detect with his detector and joined us in the search. As we dragged our long handled shovels behind us we covered the beach, laying a trail to show ourselves where we’d been.

The tide was now coming in and still no rings. Jim and I stopped a moment to talk and just then Dick heard that great gold sound with his modified Minelab Excalibur out in the water and found the engagement ring. Our signal was that if someone found one of the rings they’d raise their scoop in the air to get the others attention as all three rings were likely in the same spot and it’s important once you find one not to move. Dick raised his scoop but nobody saw as we were talking. After a couple minutes of chatting I finally turned around to continue to detect and saw Dick waving his scoop in the air.

I walked quickly over to Dick and with a great big smile he showed me a beautiful engagement ring. I then stuck my scoop down into the sand for him to use as a reference point as the waves rolled over the area and watched him grid around it. I went over to the Todd and told him the engagement ring was found. He seemed shocked and happy! Next I walked up to the car by the road and there was Ann Marie, with her bible, praying in the car for the rings safe return. When I told her we’d found the engagement ring she cried and hugged me for a long time!. These moments I love! We went back out to the water where Dick was just finding the second ring that said FAITH. Soon after that one came up he found the wedding band as everyone watched.

This was one of my favorite returns because of the sheer joy the entire family showed as each ring went back on Ann Maries fingers. The son who had the rings come out of his pocket had told me he prayed at dinner the night before that the rings would be found. We know that God does not stop the rings from being lost and I don’t believe God would physically move the rings to be under my coil but I firmly believe God can give me the thoughts of “Yes go look for that”, or “Maybe you should go further North.” But even if those thoughts don’t come the mere fact that we do the right thing by looking for the rings and then returning them shows people God’s kind of love. We were created in His image. It’s up to us to choose to show it.

Lost wedding ring 5 found and returned in Saint Augustine

This was my 26th ring return, my 5th by people who contact me through The Ring Finders site.

At 6:15 p.m. I was winding down from the day and watching the news when the phone rang. The callers name was Mike and he explained how he found my name and number on and would I help him find his lost Tungsten wedding band. Mike lost his ring the night before by Dondanville Road in the dry sand area while catching a football and had a pretty good idea of where it was. His wife was researching where to rent a metal detector when she found my blog.

The first problem was Mike was now back in Jacksonville but his In-laws were still at the condo near Dondanville Road. They witnessed the ring being lost and could help guide me to the location. The second problem was you have to have your vehicle off the beach by 7:30 p.m. so time was restricted unless I wanted to park at the condo and walk down. As Mike called his In-laws to see if they could meet me on the beach I changed and got into the jeep and started heading that way figuring worst case scenario is he calls and says they can’t show me tonight then I can just turn around and go back home. By leaving right away it gave me extra time on the beach to look before they locked the beach access gates. As I was about half way there I got the call that they’d meet me on the beach.

The couple showed me where their son In-law thought the ring was lost and I started my grid search but was surprised by the lack of any targets at all. Usually there’s at least pennies and aluminum trash but this spot had none. To me that means it’s likely that someone has detected there recently. Undaunted I searched on, expanding the search area as I went.

With less than 10 minutes before we had to leave a Spanish gentleman approached me and explained someone had lost something the day before in the area I was now looking. I explained to him that yes that is why I was there to find the families ring and this gentleman pointed to an area just a tad further north and west of where we were looking and said he thought it was there. Apparently he had seen the incident the day before. So with nothing to lose we moved the search area to that location and within two minutes I found the ring.

It was right about that time that Officer Kevin pulled up and reminded us that we had to be off the beach by 7:30. He then recognized me and I told him about finding the ring. Officer Kevin was so nice he said he’d wait for us at the gate and to take our time. We made it off the beach by 7:27 with three minutes to spare.

I gave the ring to the In-laws and will post a photo of it back with the husband when he sends it. He was so happy on the phone and explained how much sentiment was behind the ring. His wife who is six months pregnant is the hero here for finding my number and she was also very happy that it was found! Ring return number 26 was a great success.

As always I’m thankful to God for getting me into this great hobby with opportunities to show people just a small glimpse of His kind of love.

Here is the photo I received today. Ring return 26b

Lost Engagement ring 4 Found and returned in Saint Augustine

I was contacted this morning by email by a young woman who lost her engagement ring June 3rd 2016 on the beach here in Saint Augustine. She lost it in one of the worst spots to lose a ring, the inlet side of Porpoise point. The reason this is a bad spot to lose rings is because the inlet is narrow and the tide rips in and out moving a lot of sand which in turn moves the ring. It is my belief if something is lost in that area if it’s not found within a day or two it’s likely been dragged well out into deep water in the inlet where detecting is impossible due to strong currents and the channel depths as well as heavy boat traffic.

I immediately called Sara and had her meet me on the beach and she showed me about where she had lost the ring the night before. Luckily the tide was almost high when she lost it so there was a chance the strong currents had not ripped it out of the area yet. I started a grid search with my DFX metal detector with the Bigfoot coil attached as I had a lot of ground to cover. Sara searched the beach by eye, pushing sand around with her foot with the hopes of finding it or perhaps just keeping herself busy looking for sharks teeth while I worked.

After about three hours of searching and many junk finds like aluminum pull tabs I heard another good signal. By now Sara was up talking to a police officer about her loss. Everyone in the area was watching me grid search and was aware of what we were looking for as I had to ask some of them to move for me so I would not miss a spot which they gracefully did after I explained why. Being a Saturday the beach was quite crowded. As I dug up the signal and spread the sand across the beach there it was, her engagement ring. She’d only had it about 6 months and she was devastated at losing it. She was so upset she initially emailed me the wrong phone number.

I scooped up the ring carefully into my hand and walked over to her by the police car and asked her to again describe it to me. She said it was white gold, with about a 3/4 karat diamond in the center and 5 diamonds running down each side. Lifting up the ring I said “Like this one?” I think at this point she fell on her knees in disbelief and excitement. I never grow tired of seeing the face of someone that realizes something they thought might be gone forever is back in their hand. Everyone on the beach was cheering. It was a great moment!

What started out as a shell hunt in shallow water, resulted in a very valuable and sentimental engagement ring slipping off of Sara’s finger and into the ocean only to be found and returned the very next day. Sara found my phone number and email address here on this site by Google searching ‘Help me find my ring” as well as several other searches on how to rent a metal detector. She was going to rent a machine and look herself which is not easy to do for beginners.

I’m glad she found me and These moments are priceless. Ring return 23 June 4 2016

Ring return 23 June 4 2016 2I’m thankful to God for getting me into this great hobby and all the glory goes to Him.

Lost wedding ring 3 in St. Augustine found and returned!

  • de St. Augustine (Florida, United States)

ring return 10

dondanville ring recoveryI received an email from a woman who found my blog on . She was researching “How to find a ring lost in the ocean”. You see her husband had thrown off his wedding ring that day at the beach in waist deep water by Dondanville Road while he was catching a football. The ring was his fathers and it was passed down to him so one can imagine the added sentiment.

At the time of the call it was raining. Luckily for him it was high tide when he lost it.  That means when the tide goes out it will be under the wet sand and likely not in the water which makes it easier to find. Low tide that night was around 5:45 p.m. which would have been a perfect time to find it, however it was still raining and lightening. We made arrangements to meet at the next low tide which was 6:30 a.m. the following morning even though rain was forecast for then too.

We got a break around 7:00 p.m. the same night when the rain stopped and although the tide was still coming in there was a chance the water had not come in enough to cover where the ring was.   I hopped in my jeep and went to the beach. I called the couple but they were unable to meet me but they were able to described where they were when it was lost. Again luckily for them they had made a giant drip sand castle which was still there and they stated the husband was in front of that castle about 30 feet deeper into the water when he lost the ring. The next morning that castle would be gone as it was below the tide line and finding exactly where you were on the beach is not as easy as it sounds without a marking like that.

I found the big drip castle quickly just north of Dondanville road but it was then 7:30 p.m. and a county employee was locking the gates to the beach.   I went up to the employee with the key and explained what I was doing and asked if she would mind if I parked right there at the gate and she told me I could.

After parking I made my way down to the drip castle and started a grid search. The first target I heard was at about 8 p.m. and it turned out to be a tungsten ring.  The wedding ring this man had lost was described as gold with two thin black lines encircling it so I kept searching.  About 20 minutes later it was beginning to get dark and the water was rising to where my search area was when I heard that wonderful sound of BEEP BEEP!!! RING SOUND!! I dug excitedly and sure enough it was the ring he’d described.

I called them and asked again for the description and told them I may have found it and a quick photo sent to them comfirmed it. Needless to say they were SUPER HAPPY!!!! I was able to deliver the ring to them the following morning and was rewarded with a very generous reward but the smiles I saw were priceless.

My good camera is at camp with my son so forgive me for the not so great photos.

Lost ring 2 – St. Augustine – Found

  • de St. Augustine (Florida, United States)

Ring2 ring2c ring2d

Monday evening I heard about a man named Cody who stated his wife had lost her wedding ring at the beach near Island Beachwear Market in Saint Augustine. I  tried to contact him to see if he’d like my help using my metal detector to find it.  I didn’t get a reply right away so I drove to the beach on Tuesday morning and searched a grid area where I thought it was likely that they had been. I cleaned the area of pull tabs,  small pieces of the remnants of beer cans and aluminum foil wrappers but no ring. When I got home I had a voicemail from Cody, he’d found my name on and wanted my help.  I contacted him and we agreed to meet Wednesday morning at the beach. I was close! ( Only about 100 feet too far south the day before.) But today I had Cody with me to show me exactly where he was. I had him show me the point farthest north it could have been and made a nice big line in the sand. I then did the same to the south. My search started between the two lines. On the third or fouth line of my grid search that familiar beep sounded in my ear! Excited, I dug up a carefully selected area of sand into my metal scoop. While gently shaking the scoop I watched the sand slip through the small holes. Then there at the bottom of the scoop was his wife’s ring! That $6,000 dollar  ring sat nestled in the sand for five days before I found it and returned it to Cody. I wish I could be there to see his wife’s face when he puts the ring back on her finger where it belongs.

Lost ring, St. Augustine – Found

  • de St. Augustine (Florida, United States)

Ring  This morning I received an email from a man who’d lost his ring while doing yard work. He asked that I come out and look for it. The ring is a beautiful square shaped white gold wedding ring.  I headed out to his home with my old metal detector because my new one was out for repairs.  After talking with him and having him show me where he’d been and what he’d been doing I started at the most obvious and likely place that he’d have lost it and planned to search an outward grid from that point.RingandOwner

It only took about five minutes of actual searching to find it.  I think they were as surprised as I was.  My first successful find as a member of The Ring Finders.  There is just something magical about the smiles on the faces of those who lost something precious when that item is finally returned to them.