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Thread: Is it legal to sell a found personnel item

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  1. #61
    us
    Apr 2012
    East Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckleeson
    So, to sum it up! All of you who say return it because its a class ring! Are you saying return it just because its easy or because its the right thing to do?

    With a little or a lot of research i'm sure we could return most of what we find!
    If I am hunting private property I ask the owner, before I hunt, I they have ever lost any thing that I should keep my eye out for. If they say yes I try to get details so I will know what I am looking for and where. If I find it, great I have shown the owner that it isn't all about "treasure". That's just how I do it, and those are my personal convictions.
    This is a hobby for me. I am not counting on pennies and pull-tabs to feed my family. I may feel differently if I were.

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  3. #62
    Charter Member
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    *************** WHAT YOU DO WITH THE FINDS YOU DIG UP IS YOUR BUSINESS AND NO ONE ELSES, IGNORE ANYONE ON A SOAPBOX TRYING TO PREACH OTHERWISE! **************

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    How do I find the legal owner of a diamond ring I find at popular beaches visited by tens of thousands of people daily for half the year, when not one of the 8 I have found were engraved and all were sold by chain jewelry stores nation wide?




    HERE IS THE THING ABOUT RIGHTS, THEY'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE VOTED ON, THAT IS WHY THEY CALL THEM RIGHTS!

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  4. #63
    us
    Grizzly13

    Sep 2012
    Eastern PA
    Minelab E-Trac/Sunray Probe. Garrett 2500/garrett Pro-pointer
    156
    45 times
    Metal Detecting
    What, why would you want to sell it ? Would you want me to sell yours ? Wheres your ethics as a detector and a human being, not to mention morals. Give it a honest effort and if the original owner is not to be found then I would feel OK with it, but not until then. There is also something about listing it in a public newspaper and if no one claims it within some many days its legally yours, but try you will feel better for it. Good Luck on your decision

  5. #64
    Charter Member
    us
    Pesc

    Mar 2007
    NE Texas
    Almost every one of them Currently a Whites Prizm 6T
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    I was hunting a park where I work and found a silver ID bracelet that was obviously very old. The name on the bracelet was unusual so i ran a google search and surprisingly got a hit on the obituaries. After quite a bit of extensive research, I was able to contact the daughter of the owner of the bracelet and contacted her by phone. She was overjoyed and said she was going to put it in a memory book to pass down through generations. It really was a sense of accomplishment and I was really glad that I located them. I sent the silver bracelet to her and she sent me back a very nice letter and a Subway gift card. I think that the joy that I got from returning the item and the fun I had researching the owner was worth more than the monetary reward I could have gotten from the bracelet. I am sure that if I found something worth hundreds of dollars that the decision would be the same if I could find the owner. It's just the right thing to do in my opinion. My friend found a nice gold pendant with some big diamonds in it at a nearby park. He looked on craigslist and the owner had put an add describing the item and offered a $500 reward. He made contact with them and tried to return the item without a reward but they insisted. The pendant had a very sentimental value to the owner and they would not take no for an answer. Nice Score !!!
    cudamark likes this.
    Troy Shadow X2, Whites TRX & Garrett Propointer, Lesche digging tools. Oldest US Coin 1876 CC Seated Liberty Dime. www.youtube.com/user/pescadoremetaldetect

  6. #65

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasure_Hunter View Post
    How do I find the legal owner of a diamond ring I find at popular beaches visited by tens of thousands of people daily for half the year, when not one of the 8 I have found were engraved and all were sold by chain jewelry stores nation wide?
    Do you want the technical kill-joy answer to your question? Ok, here it is: you turn it in to the police, for them to go through the proper lawful channels. Afterall, if the ring is valued at $100 or more (or whatever your state's threshold criteria is in their L&F statutes), you are required to turn it in to the police. The law makes no distinction for how identifiable YOU think the item is. I know I know, it's silly, but think of it this way:

    Let's say your wife is at the local park swinging your young kid on the swingset. Her wedding ring (one purchased at a "chain jewelry store", by you and her, for $1000.00) flies off her finger in the sand box. She looks in vain at the spot she thought she saw it fly off in the direction of. But she thinks "no problem!! my husband 'treasure-hunter' is a detector enthusiast, he can find it easy!". She calls you from her cell phone, and explains the situation. You think "peice of cake, I'll go there after work, and it'll be child's play since she knows the approx. zone". A few hours later, when you could get away from work, you show up at the park, and walk the spot she told you to look. But lo & behold, you simply can not find it! Meanwhile, a man sitting on a park bench has been watching you with interest. He notices you vigorously keep searching the same little zone.

    Eventually he comes over to you and says: "Gee, you know it's funny that you keep hunting this tight little spot, because, just slightly before you came, as I sat here on the park bench, I saw another md'r guy who just happened to be detecting the park sandbox this day. And as he passed this one zone, he dug something, and stopped and stared at it. He then jumped up and down with excitement, and left for the day. So I assumed he must've found something good. And then not 10 minutes later, you show up and are searching this same exact spot"

    Now if that happened, you would KNOW that some lucky md'r just happened to be hunting the park, and must've found your ring.

    So you tell me: Does that ring now belong to that md'r? Or does it belong to you and your wife still? Remember: It was a chain-store ring.
    Sandman likes this.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  7. #66

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzymunky View Post
    ....... Also witnessed: Man finds Ring. Every effort exhausted to find owner, only to find out Other Man passed away about 10 years earlier. Man tries to sell Ring. Man meets Sheriff. Sheriff takes Ring, issues verbal chastising to Man for attempting to sell "stolen" property. Man exclaims in wonderment how Sheriff concludes Ring is "stolen". Man also explains Other Man is dead. Man shows Sheriff where Ring is found on Map. Sheriff says Other Man's next of kin have rights to it, and that area on Map is by the way, "historically protected". Man mutters bad words about Sheriff under breath. Sheriff asks what Man said. Man says he hopes Sheriff has wonderful day. Ring never seen again. ........

    --edited for punctuation
    fuzy-munky, is this a true story?? While remote and long odds that something like this could EVER occur, yet .... legally speaking, there is nothing to stop this chain of events from being legally true. I mean, heck, you hear odd stories of even shipwreck salvors, diving on 200+ yr. old wrecks, from having to fend off claims that the treasures (coins or whatever) belong to .... say .... some insurance company that paid out on the claim 200 years earlier! And even though the particular insurance company may no longer be in existence, yet some modern company claims some lineage tracing back that far. That, for example, their predecessors bought out some company, who bought out some company, and so forth. And that .... legally therefore, the property (and the claims to it), were/are by succession, passed down, blah blah blah.

    I mean, heck, I can even understand that if I saw someone with my father's personal possessions that they "found" (he passed away about 5 yrs. ago), I might be inclined to think "gee, that belongs to our family, his heirs, NOT someone else's personal mantle place, to put on ebay for their personal enrichment. Know what I mean?

    And as far as the last part about having found something in an area that was "historically protected", well ..... gee, that subject comes up a LOT of our forums, all the time, afterall. Does it not? I mean, sure, if you ask enough cops and city/county/state people long enough, with the right combination of buzzwords ("dig", "cultural resource", "treasure", "property", etc....), you can ALWAYS find someone who can morph something silly, to say you can't (or shouldn't have) been detecting even the most innocuous of sandboxes. I mean, think of it: If you find a coin worth $10,000 in your city's sandbox (let's say, a sandbox in which no one has ever cared if you metal detect), and you waltz in to city hall, and say: "Hi. I found this coin worth $10K in *your* sandbox, on city property. Is it ok if I keep it for my own fun and enjoyment, and sell on ebay for my own enrichment? Or do you think it belongs in the city coffers or museum for all the people to enjoy and appreciate?" What do you think they will say? Of COURSE they will say "give it to us". So you see, given enough morphing, you can ALWAYS find someone to say you can't keep anything you find, or you can detect at even the most innocent of places.
    Sandman likes this.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  8. #67
    us
    Oct 2009
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    Tom, you are describing a one-in-a-million type of event. Even in your case, you need to put a "lost" add in the paper. Sorry, but if I find something with no identifying marks in a park or beach, or anywhere, it's NOT going to the police. I will watch the paper for a lost add if it was on top of the ground. If it's been down long enough to require digging, it's been gone for years. Finders keepers. I return what can be, and keep the rest.

    Sorry, I know too many cops personally who would tell me straight out to never turn in something like that. It will most likely get taken by an officer.
    Keppy and Sandman like this.

  9. #68
    us
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
    callahan,fl
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    if one cares enough about a item "mark it" with ones name * it just comman sense --especially if its a "common looking" type item like a wedding band ring.--- unmarked items are nearly impossible to return to a owner.---so if its "unmarked" most detectorist think of it as "theirs" if they find it . - due to it not being easily returnible or "marked".

  10. #69
    us
    Sep 2012
    Southwestern America
    Garrett Ace 250
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivan salis View Post
    if one cares enough about a item "mark it" with ones name * it just comman sense --especially if its a "common looking" type item like a wedding band ring.--- unmarked items are nearly impossible to return to a owner.---so if its "unmarked" most detectorist think of it as "theirs" if they find it . - due to it not being easily returnible or "marked".
    That's a really good idea. I like marking my items with "18k" so if anybody finds 'em I'll be happy to receive them back!

    treasure is where you find it,
    cc

  11. #70

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
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    reply

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason in Enid View Post
    Tom, you are describing a one-in-a-million type of event. Even in your case, you need to put a "lost" add in the paper. Sorry, but if I find something with no identifying marks in a park or beach, or anywhere, it's NOT going to the police. I will watch the paper for a lost add if it was on top of the ground. If it's been down long enough to require digging, it's been gone for years. Finders keepers. I return what can be, and keep the rest.
    I agree with you, and so do most of the folks who metal detect (or have any common sense). So we'll all just be at odds with the law. That's fine. Because it makes no distinction on when YOU think it was lost (ie.: on top of the ground vs deep, etc...). It does not allow for YOU to post your own "found" ad in the paper (but instead says to turn it in to the police), etc.... So yeah, I agree, I too do nothing if it simply says 14 or 18k.

    What strikes me as odd though, is even though ALL of us have this common sense and practice, that those ..... on the other hand ....... who advocate "following all laws" (so as to be in compliance with the code of ethics, not give our hobby a black eye, etc...) will ...... yet ..... rationalize this one away. And when you ask them why we/I should grovel at city halls wherever we come to, they'll answer: "So as not to be doing anything illegal"
    Last edited by Tom_in_CA; Oct 24, 2012 at 03:59 PM.
    lookindown and Sandman like this.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  12. #71
    us
    Mar 2010
    Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasure_Hunter View Post
    How do I find the legal owner of a diamond ring I find at popular beaches visited by tens of thousands of people daily for half the year, when not one of the 8 I have found were engraved and all were sold by chain jewelry stores nation wide?
    If a ring doesnt have a name in it I keep it and dont worry about it.
    Keppy, Sandman and gee_mg like this.

  13. #72
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzymunky View Post
    The cop scenario is completely true (seen it happen)

    Easiest item to trace? Other than a medical ID bracelet with the address right inside of it, completely true

    Also witnessed: Man finds Ring. Every effort exhausted to find owner, only to find out Other Man passed away about 10 years earlier. Man tries to sell Ring. Man meets Sheriff. Sheriff takes Ring, issues verbal chastising to Man for attempting to sell "stolen" property. Man exclaims in wonderment how Sheriff concludes Ring is "stolen". Man also explains Other Man is dead. Man shows Sheriff where Ring is found on Map. Sheriff says Other Man's next of kin have rights to it, and that area on Map is by the way, "historically protected". Man mutters bad words about Sheriff under breath. Sheriff asks what Man said. Man says he hopes Sheriff has wonderful day. Ring never seen again. Man goes home sad. Man beats Wife. Divorce.

    -The End

    --edited for punctuation
    How was the Man worse off for trying to find the owner? If he had just tried to sell the ring right off the bat, he would have just had his encounter with the police a bit earlier, gone home and beat his wife earlier, and got divorced earlier. The fact that he tried to find the owner (proof being an ad posted) kept him from being accused of stealing the ring or being prosecuted for some other infraction. Going out of your way to do what's right will make you many more friends than by having a totally self-serving attitude.

  14. #73
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Treasure Probe IV, Minelab E-Trac. White's 6000 Di Pro SL. White's Eagle ll SL90, Minelab Excalibur, White's GM3 V-sat. White's TM808, VibraProbe, TinyTec, AutoScan, UniProbe, 15" WOT, 5X10 Joey, Dete
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasure_Hunter View Post
    How do I find the legal owner of a diamond ring I find at popular beaches visited by tens of thousands of people daily for half the year, when not one of the 8 I have found were engraved and all were sold by chain jewelry stores nation wide?
    I'll tell you what I do with the ones I find. I post an ad on the Craig's list lost and found section with a vague description of the found ltem like: "Found ring at such and such beach. E-mail me with a detailed description." The owner then needs to contact me with the area in which they lost it, features on the ring, metal it's made of, size, etc. If they get all the details correct, it's theirs. If the police show up wanting the ring, I'll give them the crappiest kids ring I can find laying around and file the good ring away for another day. I find enough unclaimed stuff to keep me in bread and beans so returning good jewelry makes me as happy as the owner. I also have no problem accepting a reward as like most of you, I don't get detectors, batteries, or gasoline for free so any contributions toward this hobby are welcome. I also sleep well at night knowing I've done what I can.
    lookindown and Calvin.Coin like this.

  15. #74
    Charter Member
    um
    Jul 2004
    Broward Co.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckinnc View Post
    It's a local highschool and lots of people know the guy, he has a record longer than my arm, he was in prison last anyone
    knew. Not the kind of person I would care to offer it back or even let know I found it. I may just keep it awhile, seems the metal detecting hobby dosen't pay off in every case.
    Quote Originally Posted by diggummup View Post
    Here's one way to find out if he's still in prison- NC DPS Offender Public Information ,
    So tell us, is he still in prison?
    “Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked”
    ―Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    “Dubium sapientiae initium"
    -
    René Descartes

  16. #75
    us
    Jan 2012
    Garrett Ace250 Minelab Safari
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    Who cares if he's still in jail, no ones gonna come to an agreement on this most of u think u must go to the ends of the earth to return something. I dnt and never will just how I feel
    Keppy likes this.

  17. #76
    Charter Member
    ca
    Oct 2011
    Quebec
    3,255
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    Folks,

    Interesting thread....I've been following this for awhile.....I've only found 2 graduation rings over the years.....
    a couple of years ago found a white gold 10k ladies high school grad ring....it had the school name, year and the person's full name on the inside of the band....

    1:- Contacted the school via email advising I had found something which I believed belonged to one of their grads and gave them my contact info and asked them to pass this along to the person in question to contact me.....zero response from the school...not as much as an acknowledgment of receiving my message.

    2:-Tracked down who I presumed was the owner on twitter and joined and posted a message asking if that person attended said school....zero response.

    I did my bit and the ring is still in my collection....only so much we can do to try and return the personal items we find.

    Regards + HH

    Bill

  18. #77
    us
    Mar 2010
    Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildDigger View Post
    US treasure trove laws say yes. You found it you do not have to return it. But most do.
    If a state has a staute on lost property, it overrides the treasure trove law. Most states have one on the books.
    Treasure_Hunter, Keppy and Sandman like this.

  19. #78
    us
    Sep 2010
    southeast PA
    CTX3030
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    i return all rings i find.............right back into my finds pouch

    now if someone approaches me to help them locate a ring i have no problem helping them out. some homeowners report their lost rings to the insurance companys and i'm sure if someone returns their lost ring the ring owner certainly isn't returning their insurance check
    Keppy likes this.
    down and dirty

  20. #79
    us
    Jan 2012
    Garrett Ace250 Minelab Safari
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogpound
    i return all rings i find.............right back into my finds pouch

    now if someone approaches me to help them locate a ring i have no problem helping them out. some homeowners report their lost rings to the insurance companys and i'm sure if someone returns their lost ring the ring owner certainly isn't returning their insurance check
    Exactly, all my wifes jewelry that's worth something is insured and most people do thy same thing. I can't imagine anyone get emotional over a class ring there the biggest waste of money, I wouldn't even have a clue where mine is at
    Keppy likes this.

  21. #80
    us
    Apr 2012
    East Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill from lachine
    Folks,

    Interesting thread....I've been following this for awhile.....I've only found 2 graduation rings over the years.....
    a couple of years ago found a white gold 10k ladies high school grad ring....it had the school name, year and the person's full name on the inside of the band....

    1:- Contacted the school via email advising I had found something which I believed belonged to one of their grads and gave them my contact info and asked them to pass this along to the person in question to contact me.....zero response from the school...not as much as an acknowledgment of receiving my message.

    2:-Tracked down who I presumed was the owner on twitter and joined and posted a message asking if that person attended said school....zero response.

    I did my bit and the ring is still in my collection....only so much we can do to try and return the personal items we find.

    Regards + HH

    Bill
    I think that is what most people are saying on this topic. Do what you can do and if there is no response... So be it.
    I returned a ring yesterday and got permission to hunt a virgin 1890 home for my trouble. (Which was no trouble at all)
    I feel that some maybe missing out on those types of opportunities. It's the whole forest and trees scenario.
    jeff of pa likes this.

 

 
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