Metal detector unearths Joan's wedding ring, lost 55 years ago

21 January 2104  PENSIONER Joan MacLeod has been reunited with the wedding ring that slipped from her finger FIFTY FIVE years ago.
She and husband Duncan, both 77, long ago gave up hope of ever seeing it again, and bought a replacement.
But a metal detectorist who had been working nearby offered to have a go, and took less than two hours to find the 22 carat gold band.
It disappeared as Joan helped her parents gather corn on their croft at Kirkhill, Inverness, one evening in August 1958, and she and her husband Duncan spent more than five decades searching for it.
But a chance meeting with a metal detectorist finally ended their hunt.
Mr MacLeod saw Eric Soane working his machine in the field and decided to set him a new challenge. The keen eyed treasure hunter got to work and found the lost wedding ring in less than two hours.
“He produced this little plastic bag from his pocket and said ‘look what I found”; I just thought I would hit the floor,” said Mrs MacLeod.
“It won’t go on properly now because I have a touch of arthritis and my joints are slightly swollen but I am going to take it to my jeweller to see if he will stretch it. I do not want to cut it.”
Mrs MacLeod, of Cabrich, Kirkhill, recalled the turmoil of losing her precious ring.
“I was helping to gather the corn,” she recalled. “I had gloves on but the wool got worn and it must have slipped off. I just about went crazy. The following day my mum went down with a big sheet and shook out off the shears of corn to see if the ring had fallen into it. She must have spent the whole day because I was at work. I was crying my eyes out. I felt terrible, How careless for goodness sake.”
Mr MacLeod came home from serving in the air force and bought her another ring but it never replaced the original for his wife.
Mr Soane, of Tornagrain, near Nairn, is one of the top three suppliers of treasure trove in Scotland.
The 75-year-old retired social worker from Surrey discovered a hoard of Roman coins and Robert II coins at Belladrum in 2012 prompting an archaeological dig. He also found 600 artefacts at Fort George.
He said: “I dug down about six inches into the soil and I saw it straight away. The ring was shining bright from the mud.”