News Article:

Lost and found

Kristyl Clark, Peace Arch News

Samantha Hayes lost her ring at White Rock promenade. After her husband Geoff Curran, was unable to find it, the local couple contacted a man who has been highly successful in finding lost jewelry and personal treasures.

Lost and found

There was a biting chill in the winter air as Samantha Hayes bundled up and headed down to the promenade in White Rock for a brisk early morning stroll in mid-January.

Two of her family members had just passed away, leaving the mourning South Surrey mother in need of some time for reflection and solitude.

After locating an empty wooden bench on the pier, Hayes sat down and stared out into the ocean, cradling a cup of coffee in her hands to keep warm.

Lost in her reflections, she admits she wasn't really thinking when she put down her cup and pulled a glove off of her left hand to fetch a kleenex from her purse.

The hasty motion sent her 18th century antique diamond engagement ring flying high in the air, before slipping through the cracks of the pier, into the crashing waves below.

Although she just lost a major piece of sentimental jewelry, and believed the chances of recovering it were slim, Hayes didn't lose her cool, as most women in her shoes might have done.

"I knew that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a deal, it was just a ring, not my life or my health that was at stake," she said.

Immediately, she called her husband, Geoff, who scoured the beach for two days with a rented metal detector. With a flashlight in hand, he searched even after the sun had set, holding on to hope he'd recover the lost ring he had placed on his wife's wedding finger back in 1997.

When they weren't able to find it, the couple decided to hold off on their search for a few months until the weather improved.

"We had basically given up for the time being," Hayes said.

That was until a few weeks ago when they came across a news segment on television about a man named Chris Turner who calls himself the "treasure finder."

The Vancouver man is the owner of Finders, a unique business with a mission to find those rings and other valuables people have lost over the years.

Turner accepts payment on a donation basis, giving half of the proceeds to children's hospital.

With nothing to lose, Hayes decided to contact him right away.

On March 1, Turner arrived in the Peninsula his equipment in tow. He hoped to help Hayes, recover her lost ring.

As long as someone hadn't pocketed it, he was pretty sure he had a good shot at finding her ring.

"I was given a pretty good description of where she was when she dropped it, which really helped to increase my chances," he said. "The metal detectors that I use are also quite advanced."

Despite the ring being missing for almost two months, Turner was able to find her 18-karat gypsy ring within the first 15 minutes of his search.

Hayes, who was in Hawaii with her family when he found it, was overjoyed to get his message on her answering machine.

"We were so excited, quite thrilled actually, we had already called our insurance company and had put in a claim because we really didn't think we'd find it," she said.

For Turner, it's the ability to bring joy to others, combined with the thrill of the hunt that motivates him to drive as far as 100 Mile House to find a missing ring, pendant or brooch.

"People are losing jewelry all the time, from when they're walking in trails, gardening in their backyard or having fun on the beach. What I do is give them a second chance," he said.

"Everyone's jewelry has a story. I love to continue that story."

To contact Chris Turner, call 778-838-3463 or visit