Treasure hunter searching for owner of wedding ring he found in New Forest field
A METAL detectorist is appealing for help tracking down the owner of a lost wedding ring that he found while searching for buried treasure in a field in Sway.
Geoff Lai, who lives in the village, dug up the ring while out with his eight-year-old son Reeve. The item is inscribed with the date 19th September 1964 and the names Ann and John.
Geoff said: “It is a hobby we both love, and normally find gold coins and other bits and pieces. This particular day the detector sounded and when we dug down about three inches, we found the ring.
“It is quite a big size, so I think it is probably a man’s one. I thought it was so sad that someone had lost it and when I saw there were names and a date on it, I knew I had to find who it belonged to and reunite them with it.”
Geoff, who is international production manager for locally-based Gozney Stone Bake Oven Company, initially asked the landowner of the field if he had any idea who the couple were.
He did not know but said he would ask the previous occupants of his farm – but that line of enquiry also drew a blank, leading to Geoff making an appeal for help.
He said: “I have actually looked up all the wedding certificates in the UK covering September 1964. There are lots of Johns and Anns but of course I don’t know if there are the right ones. I can’t search for that date specifically, which is a shame.
“I am hoping that someone will read this, and either be the owner of the ring or know the couple. I would love for them to have it back. I have appealed on social media but no one has come forward yet.”
The discovery of the ring follows a series of local finds reported this year, the biggest being 60 gold coins dating from the 15th and 16th centuries – and worth about £14,000 – found by an unnamed New Forest family as they weeded their garden during the first lockdown.
More recently a couple were emotionally reunited with a wedding ring they lost five years ago in Christchurch following an online appeal. It was found on the beach by an engineering team from BCP Council which put out a successful appeal on social media.
Anyone who knows who the ring found in Sway might belong to can email Geoff via Geofflai8@gmail.com