Metal Detector Hobbyist Reunites Man With Wedding Ring Lost 55 Years Ago

Tennessee resident Ransom Jones had given up on ever finding his lost wedding band—after all, it had been over five decades since he lost it in his parents' backyard. But when the house's current resident, Doug Jones, discovered the gold ring with his metal detector last month, he knew he had to return it to its rightful owner.

According to The Daily News Journal, Jones lost his wedding ring in his parents' Murfreesboro, Tenn. backyard, while cleaning up the mess he made in the woodworking shop. "As I threw a bunch of shavings out the door into a little garden patch, the ring went with the shavings," explained Jones.

For years—and across generations—members of the Jones family scoured the property in search of finding the precious band.

"When the kids came along, they grew up looking for my ring," he added, joking that his now-51-year-old son "thought it was all a spoof to keep them busy."

Jokes aside, Jones told The Daily News Journal that the loss was "a real emotional blow"—one that he thought about at least once a week in the many years since. "I was always so disappointed I lost it," he said. While Jones did eventually get a replacement wedding ring, it simply "wasn't the same" as the original.

Fast-forward to 2006, when Doug Cook and his wife, Samantha Cook, bought the house that had belonged to Jones' parents. On a walkthrough of the home, Jones told Cook about his lost wedding ring.

"It's always been in the back of my mind," explained Cook, who would occasionally look for the ring while gardening in the backyard. He said even went so far as to throw items from the woodworking shop into the garden, to see how the ring might've landed.

As he told The Daily News Journal, the pandemic meant that Cook, a TV, stage, and event director, had ample time on his hands. So, like countless other Americans, he picked up a new hobby: he bought a metal detector and started searching for lost treasures.

Cook found the ring in late April, when his metal detector gave off a "real faint" sound. After digging about four inches into the ground, he found the wedding band, which was inscribed with the initials "W.R.J." and the date of January 21, 1966.

He told the news outlet that "as soon as [he] realized it was a gold ring," he was certain it belonged to Jones and immediately got to work tracking him down. "The possibility of bringing that back to somebody...is overwhelming. And ultimately, the value is priceless," explained Cook.

Soon enough, Jones and his wife, Wren, went to the house to retrieve the lost heirloom. "Do you still want to marry me?" joked Wren as she placed the ring on his finger, according to The Daily News Journal.

"I would do it all over again," Jones replied.

Now, Jones is beyond thrilled to once again be in possession of his treasured wedding ring—and chances are, he's not planning on losing it again.

"It was quite an emotional event to recover this ring," he said. "I'm not a weepy kind of guy but I did over that...It's been one of the most joyful experiences I've ever had."

Man Using Metal Detector at Beach
A UK man using a metal detector at a beach during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Tennessee man was recently reunited with his lost wedding ring after over 50 years when it was found by a man using a metal detector. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images