CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The sentimental value of a ring is precious. Each has its own story and meaning attached to it. However, if you happen to lose it, that story doesn’t go missing with it.

Connell Raate is a 77-year old retiree from Clay. His passion for finding lost items first started as a hobby 20 years ago.

For three years, Raate has been a member of The Ring Finders, a group comprised of metal detecting specialists and ring finders spread across the world.

Often times, when a person loses a valuable and can’t find the item on their own, they tend to walk away, but Raate encourages everyone to use services like his.

“It gives me a purpose to reunite a ring that has been lost with its rightful owner,” said Raate.

The purpose of the service is to find lost rings, jewelry or other valuables using metal detectors.

He knows firsthand the meaning behind each ring.

“They’ve lost something that’s got history. It may have been their mother’s, it may be the ring like this one here that my wife put on my finger 57 years ago,” said Raate.

“There’s a story. There’s a sentiment. If I lose this, this ring can never be replaced. This is the one she put on my finger,” he said.

Even though there’s no guarantee, he’s determined to find the rightful owner to each valuable he finds. In just three years, he’s placed nearly 20 rings back onto the hands of their owner.

“It’s such a warm feeling of joy, accomplishment. The story of the ring and the love can continue. It’s not ended because the ring is gone,” said Raate.

One of his more recent finds, an Army Air Corps pilot ring. He’s spent the last two years hoping to find the owner, but since he has yet to find the owner or family, Raate has decided to donate this ring to Onondaga County to honor all those who fought for freedom in World War II.

Raate wants all those who lose a ring or valuable to never give up on the search.

For more information on The Ring Finders service and how to get in touch with a specialist, click here.

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