KEEN metal detectorist Richard Higham has re-united a lost engagement ring with its owner after a lucky find at Child Okeford.
He found the aquamarine ring on land he detects on in early December. Now he has tracked down the owner, a woman from Gillingham, who lost the ring last summer.
Mr Higham knew the land was used for a camp last summer and checked with the landowner and the camp organiser to see if people who attended could be contacted.
A newsletter emailed to them in the new year came up trumps when the owner realised the find was her own engagement ring.
Mr Higham said: "The ring would have scrap value but I wanted to find the owner if possible. You can't put a price on a special thing like an engagement ring – it means so much to the owner. I don't expect she ever thought she would see it again. It was a lucky find because I didn't find anything else that day."
Mr Higham, who lives at Swanage and detects with landowners' permission across a wide part of Dorset, devotes a lot of his spare time to finding lost objects for their owners.
He said: "So many people lose things and think there's no chance of finding them again. But I love doing this and I'm just pleased to get things back for people.
"I often detect on beaches and even out in the water. I once spent 18 hours looking in the sea for a ring that a woman had lost and it was very special to her. I found it!"
Mr Higham refuses to take payment for his finds but invites grateful owners to make donations to dog charities instead. The owner of the ring that took a long underwater search was so thrilled at its return that she adopted a dog through a charity.
Mr Higham has successfully retrieved other items such as missing lawn mower pieces as well as historic and archaeological finds including a Bronze Age axe head.
He said: "I love metal detecting but I don't care about the money. I just like finding things."
Contact him on 07899 996686 if you think he could help find missing items.