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20 years ago Ali had a neighbor (we will name her Asli for this story) in Woodbridge, Virginia. Asli gave Ali her family heirloom ring that had dated back over a hundred years earlier. She gifted the ring to Ali because Asli did not have any daughters or daughter-in-laws to hand it down to.
Here is the backstory about the ring: Asli’s family lived in Turkmenistan back in the early 1900’s. The 18 karat yellow gold ring with a large green agate stone in the center was originally acquired in that region possibly by Asli’s grandmother or grandfather. At some point, the family moved to Turkey. The ring was then passed down to Asli’s mother who kept it in her possession until immigrating to Saudi Arabia years later. When Asli got married in the Arab land, her mother gave the very special ring to the bride as a wedding gift. It was kept in Asli’s possession for nearly five decades right up to the time that she made her way to the United States. She hoped that one day she could gift the ring to a future daughter or daughter-in-law, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible. When Ali happily accepted the family heirloom from her thoughtful neighbor, Asli told Ali, « This ring will grow prosperity in your life ».
Eventually, Ali and her family moved away from her friend to another Woodbridge, Virginia community nearby. During the first couple of years of living in the new residence, a family member moved into the home for a season of time who sadly created a lot of strife for the rest of the household. On one particular day, while a very heated argument ensued between Ali’s son and that other family member who moved into the house, Ali was extremely disturbed by the whole situation and a thought came into her mind. She pondered, « Perhaps that ring I was given by Asli which was to bring growth of prosperity in my life, is actually a curse that is growing prosperity of dispair and conflict into my family’s house ». Immediately, she went upstairs to her jewelry box, retrieved the ring, went downstairs to her kitchen, wrapped the piece of jewelry in a Bounty paper towel, sealed it in a Ziplock bag, grabbed a trowel and buried the gold ring in a six inch hole beside a tree on the side of her house.
Unfortunately, the conflicts didn’t end with the burial of the ring. During one particular visit that Asli made to the couple’s new house, the old neighborhood friend inquired as to why Ali was not wearing the special ring. Ali shared what she did with the sentimental keepsake that once belonged to her friend and Asli was extremely upset about what she was told. Ali then realized that she was wrong for thinking that there was something evil attached to the piece of jewelry and the two of them decided to go outside and attempt to dig up the ring. Asli said to Ali, « You will dig, and I will pray ».
The ladies went to the spot where Ali thought that she had buried the baggie but they were not able to find the ring anywhere. She dug and dug even some more but all of Ali’s efforts led to no avail. Not even Asli’s prayers came to fruition. This only upset the old neighbor even more than before when she had first heard that her gift (which was thought to have been a curse) had been buried on the side of the yard. Once again, tears began to flow down Asli’s face as the two ladies headed back into the house empty-handed.
Over time, this whole ring ordeal weighed heavily upon Ali’s heart. Several years later, the guilt-ridden woman returned with her trowel to yet again search for her missing jewel. Still, Ali found nothing. Then, some time had passed yet again, and this time Ali’s husband and son joined in on the excavation. This time a metal detector would be utilized. Hours upon hours were spent looking for the lost treasure and even with three members of the family all teaming up to locate the secret hole in the ground, still no one could recover the piece of gold. Ali’s husband said to her, « Its gone. Its no longer there. You will no longer find the ring so forget about it ». Ali never could let it go.
Approximately ten years had gone by since Ali had first buried the ring, and once again, the woman felt an inner nudging to try to recover the lost jewelry that had been gifted to her by Asli twenty years earlier. Instead of attempting another dig, Ali decided to take to the internet and search for a solution. This is when she stumbled across the elite international directory of metal detectorists called THE RING FINDERS. After reading wonderful testimonials and viewing lots of smiles of other ring finder clients, hope arose again within Ali’s heart! Immediately she called me to see if I could help her solve the 10 year old mystery as to where the ring had ended up (if it was in fact still there). I was delighted to receive Ali’s phone call and I could not wait to visit her Woodbridge, Virginia estate a couple of days later!
When I arrived at Ali’s house, I was immediately greeted by the woman who then showed me where she believed she buried the ring in the ground. I was taken to a particular tree that was positioned right on the property line, located on the right side of the house (if you are facing the front of the estate).
When I observed the characteristics of the tree that I was shown, I noticed that there were at least four other trees that looked identical to this one. Already I could tell how easy it would have been for Ali to have forgotten exactly which tree she dug her hole next to when she buried the « cursed ring ». I started metal detecting around that one particular tree and I in fact did get a promising signal that registered the exact numbers that I was looking for on my detector. But upon digging the object up, it turned out to be a false alarm. I continued on to the next tree.
Even though Ali was pretty certain about which area she had dug her hole, the more searching I did, the more my client was less sure of herself since so many years had passed. Coincidentally, I ended up getting another great target signal coming from Tree #2. However, that potential object turned out to be another piece of uninteresting, non-precious metal. I could tell that Ali was slowly losing hope as she had previously experienced over the many years of searching for this mysterious jewel. Yet, I was only more intrigued by the challenge of finding the buried treasure.
While my client went up the hill and into her house to prepare some drinks for me (it was extremely hot outside that day), I returned back to Tree #1 just to double check my work to be certain that I didn’t miss anything. When I was done scanning that area once again, I was 100% confident that I did not miss the ring anywhere in that search site. I concluded that either: 1. The family heirloom ring that had previously belonged to Asli had been randomly dug up by landscapers when Ali’s neighbor laid down new mulch and more flowers during the past decade. Or 2., I was still looking in the wrong place. Perhaps all that time Ali had convinced herself that the tree that she buried the ring next to was further towards the front/side yard rather than closer to the back of the side yard. This would explain why every time the family searched for the gold, they came up empty-handed.
My next move was to consider the second scenario listed above. I theorized the idea that perhaps I had been looking in the wrong place all along. I chose to move my equipment further towards the backyard but still remaining on the side of the house and metal detect around Tree #3. At first, I did not pick up anything of interest on my metal detector screen. I figured this might end up being another failed attempt. However I kept analyzing the ground around this one particular tree. Eventually, I got a very promising target signal. It showed the same numbers that I picked up while at Tree #1. Coincidentally, when I dug up the object (which I cannot recall what it was at the time), it turned out to be the exact same item that I found at the other location! I thought to myself, ‘What are the odds of that?’
Though it didn’t look too promising after pulling up that bogus non-ferrous target, I still continued to check every square inch around that third tree. I had been using a 6-inch coil at the bottom of my detector in order to make it much easier for me to search between plant life and the tree. I was glad that I chose to use that piece of equipment because eventually I got another target signal that appeared to indicate that there were two pieces of metal buried close to one another. I would end up getting a number on my screen that was perfectly in the range of what the yellow gold ring would have rung up as. And then I was registering these other curious numbers that danced around that higher number. I thought to myself that I either detected another piece of trash, or there were two different objects – one of which could potentially be the of precious metal that I had been looking for. My depth readings on my detector screen did indicate that the metal was buried approximately 6 inches or so down in the ground.
With much anticipation, I began to dig up the object(s) with my shovel. Upon using my pinpointer to identify the exact location of my target, I pulled up what I hoped to be the missing ring. But unfortunately, I recognized that there was no plastic baggy wrapped around this particular item. It turned out to be another piece of miscellaneous metal. As a seasoned metal detectorist and ring finder, I did not immediately move passed that current hole after analyzing the object that I had just pulled out of the ground. I wanted to see if there was a second item that was very close to the one that I had just removed from the earth. I started to dig some more around that particular spot.
After removing some more dirt from within the hole, I once again used my pinpointer to scan for potential metal. Well, to my joyous surprise, the handheld detector once again began to beep! My heart began to race and my anticipation grew rapidly, hoping that the high number that showed up on my detector screen earlier on, would turn out to be the very treasure that I have been looking for. Again I picked up my main detector and scanned over the area where the object was still buried in the ground. To my greatest excitement, that high number still showed up on my screen! This meant that there was still a high probability chance of finding the precious metal that I had been searching for all along! I carefully dug some more inside the mysterious hole in the ground and eventually my eyes locked in on something that simply took my breath away! I stumbled upon a piece of plastic! I thought, ‘Could this be the plastic baggie that contained the ring?!’ I was so very excited at that moment! I dug a little bit more and then carefully pulled a little bit more of the plastic out from within the hard packed earth. I still couldn’t tell exactly what it was but with every second that passed, it sure looked more like a sandwich bag!
I decided to dig around the other side of the hole where the target was still mainly buried beneath the dirt just so that I didn’t damage the potential content(s) within the plastic. When I finally reached a depth inside the hole where the plastic could finally be fully recovered all in one piece, I carefully pulled the mystery object out into the sunlight…and there it was! I found it! I found the legendary Ziploc bag that contained the missing buried treasure! It had to be the one that we had been looking for all along! The very one that had been sought after for nearly ten years! I was so happy at that moment! It was such an exhilarating feeling to search and successfully recover something of such importance for Ali, and yes, for Asli as well, knowing that the ring had been buried in the ground for all that time! Just incredible!
I must say that there was nothing like the moment when I presented the baggie to Ali and she opened it up to reveal its contents! There inside the plastic was the Bounty paper towel, and wrapped up within it was the beloved 18 karat yellow gold ring with a very old and exquisite looking green agate stone in the middle! The jewel that had brought such unrest to Ali at one time, now caused a beautiful smile to appear across the relieved woman’s countenance as she held the family heirloom – antique ring once again in her hand!
Ali could not believe what I was able to successfully accomplish for her that afternoon, even though she was the one that possessed that initial glimmer of hope when she first contacted me. Over and over again, my client thanked me, and in turn we both gave thanked God above for helping me with the ability to bring an end to Ali and Asli’s ten year ordeal. She couldn’t wait to share the good news with her old neighborhood friend! The cherished century old jewel that had once traveled from country to country and then eventually taken across the world…was finally back where it belonged and where a new story could be added to its already fascinating origins.
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