Man finds diamond ring with metal detector in New Germany
NEW GERMANY -- Digging for lost treasure in Cambria County is what one man was doing recently when he found a diamond ring buried in New Germany.
But that wasn't the only thing he found. He was able to find who the ring belonged to.
David Rowles has been metal detecting in his spare time for eight years.
"A lot of people get a lot of enjoyment out of it,” Rowles said. “You know, I've had customers, some contractors that I've sold detectors to that have found coins from the 1780s."
He usually hunts for old silver coins, but about two weeks ago he came across something different. He found a ring buried just three inches below the ground.
“When I found that ring, I literally thought I was going to dig a buffalo nickel, is what I'd have guessed I was going to dig," Rowles said.
He didn't find just any ring. It was inscribed with initials and a marriage date: 9-7-38.
"I'd rather find an old silver coin than that ring, to be honest with you,” Rowles said. “I just find the coins to be interesting, but the fact that it had the initials and the date and the wedding date's what made it, ‘OK I have to track this down.’"
Several co-workers helped him research who the ring belonged to.
"The owner of the company I work for, Ed Long, he found something to do with their marriage license online that the names matched the initials and the wedding date was spot on," Rowles.
Rowles found the ring at a picnic site and figured out the couple was just across the road.
"You wish you could give it back to them but it's just neat to find the whole story and the fact that they're buried 125 yards from where the ring was," Rowles.
Rowles said Joseph Gallardy and Josepha Hoover had no children or siblings who are alive.
But a nephew found a picture of the couple where Josepha is presumably wearing the ring.
"They were probably at a church picnic over there and she lost it,” Rowles said. “And I happened to come across it and got lucky enough to find it."
Rowles said it's not too often he gets to put a story behind what he finds, but this ring was more than a piece of metal.