A Surrey native who spends much of his free time reconnecting people with their lost treasure is searching for a woman who lost a gold ring on White Rock’s beach several years ago.
Chris Turner, who acknowledges that the effort is a long shot, was walking with a metal detector along White Rock’s East Beach about five to seven years ago. During his walk, he was approached by a lady who asked if he had found a gold, plain ring with an inscription written on the inside.
Turner looked up and down the beach, but wasn’t able to help the lady. However, he never forgot about the interaction. From that point, he said, he always knew that somewhere on the beach there was a gold ring waiting to be found.
A friend, who was accompanying Turner on the walk, took down the woman’s contact information and they promised to connect with her if they came across the ring. However, somewhat ironically, Turner and his friend lost the contact information.
This week, while once again searching White Rock’s beach, Turner discovered a gold ring that perfectly matches the description of the lost band reported to him all those years ago.
“Right away I remembered this lady that I was talking to with my friend,” Turner said.
“You can just tell by how upset she was… she was so upset that she had lost it. She was coming in with the tide, floating in, and at one point she lost it. It just hit me when I found it, oh my God, this could be that ring,” Turner said.
The golden, plain wedding band has a date engraved on the inside. Turner said the year is 1957, however, he’s withholding the exact month and day engraved on the ring. Turner said he will hold the ring until its owner, or relative of the owner, reaches out to him and provides that information.
“I just thought what an amazing story if you can reach out to your readers. I know she lived there and she walked the beach all of the time. I know she lived in White Rock,” Turner said, estimating that the woman is in her 80s.
“Somebody knows about that story because when people lose stuff, they’re gutted and they tell everybody.”
Turner has been metal detecting for more than 50 years and has been helping people find their lost rings for the last 28 years.
He is the founder of the The Ring Finders, which is an international directory of independent metal detecting specialists in 25 countries. To date, Ring Finders members have recovered more than 9,000 lost items and have returned upwards of $10 million worth of jewelry to its proper owners.
Metal detecting as a hobby has exploded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turner noted. Along with the explosion was a dramatic increase in the number of items that are being reported lost.
“2020 and 2021 was probably the busiest year for searches,” he said. “I think because nobody was working and everybody was going out and doing things.”
Turner finds people’s rings on a “pay-what-you-can” basis. He’s not in it for the money, but rather the reaction of people when they are finally reconnected with their ring, he said. He posts many of those reactions on his YouTube channel.
“The connection I find is the most beautiful thing,” he said. “The connection attached to these things means so much to people… I see the beauty in these stories and these stories need to be continued.”
Among those who have turned to Turner for help in the past is Two and a Half Men actor Jon Cryer, who lost his wedding band while walking along Vancouver’s seawall in October 2020.
Turner also found a signet ring on White Rock’s beach about five years ago. He’s holding onto it in the hope that he can find the person who lost it. The ring is engraved with someone’s initials.
Although Turner could sell his collection of found rings for scrap, he said he holds on to each discovery on the off-chance, he’ll have the opportunity to return it to its rightful owner.
“I’ve got close to 100 rings in my (safety deposit box) that I cannot sell because I’m hoping one day someone finds the Ring Finders and says ‘Hey, this is a long shot, but like eight years ago I lost my ring here.’ And if they describe it, I can go, ‘Guess what? I’ve got it.”
If you believe you might be the owner of the gold ring, or know who owned it, contact Turner at 778-838-3463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org