Worth More Than Money

Grant Maxwell, Administrator on the Detecting Scotland forum was just a little anxious when the farmer whose land on which they had held a dig just the day before, gave him a call. Was it going to be a complaint?

Not at all. The reason for his call came as a result of talking to his elderly mother and she told him that she’d lost her engagement ring ‘some decades earlier’, possibly when she was hanging out the washing.

Grant informed the farmer that no gold rings had been found, but he’d happily come and have ‘a scout around’ the area (now a chicken pen) to see if he could find it!

James Rankin with his Mother. Picture supplied

After a couple of hours, lots of early decimal coins and not much else in the pouch, Grant got a ‘slightly off’ signal, but dug it anyway. He pulled out a plug and there, about 10” down, nestled the first gold ring he had ever found. He said, “It was a thing of beauty, gold with three sparkling diamonds set in platinum! I literally fell to my knees with happiness.”


The farmer hadn’t held out much hope Grant would find the ring so it was a quite shock when he found out! Between them, they arranged to present it to his mother … whilst telling her to be more careful in future!

Grant said, “The farmer tried to give me all the notes from his wallet but I wouldn’t hear of it, the joy the find brought to a lovely lady who said she thought she’d never see it again was worth so much more than money. It’s a shame the hobby is often shown in a bad light, as there is a lot of good out there. Today was by far my happiest day in detecting and has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for the hobby.”

The farmer had no idea what date his parents had got engaged but the high standard of engraving inside the ring told everything – 7th May 51 WRR to EMR. His late father was William R Rankin.


Click on Image for Detecting Scotland FACEACHE Page

This article was originally published in The Searcher – July 2015

22 thoughts on “Worth More Than Money

  1. There are lots of decent folks amongst the fraternity. The bad press normally make the headlines. I’ve returned a 3 carat diamond engagement ring to a farmer’s wife and a World War 1 silver medal to the recipients descendants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have lots of ‘feel good’ stories like this.
      Great to give Grant a boost – helped by Eleanor Nelson and Jim Ingram – he runs a good forum.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love stories like this John.. a truly feel good tale.. and after the negative press we so often get, this is definitely a plus

    thank you


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Little to do with this story Jamie, but
      have you noticed how people are pulling together during the present COVID crisis.
      Helping each other and bartering has become the norm.


  3. Hi John
    Just read this again I like the way it is written. The most recent one of 3 is the fencing place at Slammanan RH Young, the owner got in touch through a farmer friend and to cut a long story short I managed to Reunite his wife with her wedding ring as it was lost in the paddock.
    I do have a photo of her with it back on too! 😁


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