If you've dropped your ring at the beach or lost your watch on a hike, your best bet might be to call in the experts. The Ring Finders is a network of metal detecting enthusiasts around the world who, for a fee, will seek out your lost valuables. There are around 400 metal detectorists around the world who pay a small fee to be listed on the site which boasts nearly 8,500 recoveries totaling $10 million in value. San Francisco's Ring Finders rep Marshall Smith says he has an 85-95% success rate, depending on where and when you lost your item. From SFGate:
When he succeeds in finding their lost jewelry, he snaps a photo of the beaming person holding it and adds it to his blog — what he calls the "book of smiles."
"They're typically distraught, so I'm coming to the rescue," Smith told me. "They're just so happy … they're beside themselves with anxiety, and I can help them and make them feel better and you can see that when you give them back their ring. They cry, I get a lot of hugs.[…]
Ring Finders typically operate on a reward basis, plus a mobilization fee (Smith charges about $25 to $30 locally to cover his gas). But money doesn't seem to be the main motivating factor for these detectives.
"It's not a business, it's a service, kind of a charitable service," explained Smith.