Mark Atkins graduated from an Alabama High School in 1980. He was an avid football player and captain of his football team. in 1989 Mark's home was robbed. The thieves took all his wife's and his jewelry, None of the jewelry was ever recovered.
In January of 2018 i was metal detecting in Miami, Florida in the dry sand. It was to rough to get into the water. After a few hours of detecting I had a hit on my Minelab Excalibur. It was a very faint hit and as luck would have it I decided to dig it. I can't tell you enough how important it is to dig those little broken tones.
I was shocked when I looked in my scoop and saw the class ring with a date of 1980. Once I arrived home that day I began a search all over the United States trying to find the correct school. It took me about six hours to find the correct school. My only clue to finding the owner was the football on the side and the number 70.
Once I contacted the High School the administrator informed me that Mark still lived the the same town and she was able to make contact with him. All I asked of the school was that Mark provide me with a photo of him holding the ring so I could have it for my return photos.
After 29 years the thief who stole Mark's ring finally lost the ring in Miami. Mark had never been to Florida. I was able to return the only piece of jewelry ever recovered from the robbery.
A few days later Mark's home town newspaper wrote a full page article about the rings long journey and how the ring was returned. They took Mark's yearbook football picture and published it along with the story of how I found the ring and returned it to Mark. I am sure that made Mark's day and it surely made mine. Mark later sent me a copy of the paper and a thank you card.
You will love metal detecting and the things you find during your journey in the outdoors. I have made many finds over the years but there is nothing better than giving back. I never take rewards for all the items I have returned. I always ask the person for a photo and remind them that we are strangers. I asked them to pass it forward by helping a stranger if they ask for help.