Man and gold ring are reunited after strawberry patch loss half a century ago

A man and his precious gold ring have been reunited after it was lost in a strawberry patch over half a century ago.

Dave Radley was given the jewellery by his mum as a 21st birthday present.

But the signet ring somehow slipped off his finger as he gathered strawberries.

He tried to find 9 carat ring all those years ago, but finally had to accept it was lost.

LeicestershireLive reported how a metal detectorist who received a tip-off from Dave about the lost item from 1968 made a heart-warming discovery.

The precious item was found seven inches deep in the ground with only one slight scratch, ready to be polished out.

Dave, of Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, said: “The ring might not have changed but its owner has – so it’s a fairly tight fit.

“I might have to have it changed slightly as I can just about get it on. But none of that matters because I’m so grateful to have it back”.

Dave said the ring would have been an expensive gift at the time of its purchase and his mother would have likely bought it via a catalogue and paid over a period of time.

He turned 21 in May 1968 – but lost it just weeks later in July.

He said: “My family wasn’t too well off in those days and I spent hours searching for it on the rows we had been. My mother wasn’t upset with me, just more upset because of how distraught I was.

“When you live in a village your source of income was strawberry picking. It was a thing in those days – the dark ages.

“My friend Mick Lovett’s dad owned the fields, so when the fruits were ready we went picking first thing in the morning to pick.

“Fast forward 54 years and I get a call from Mick’s younger brother Peter – who still owned the land – and told me the unbelievable news.

“A metal detectorist was working locally and asked if he could detect in the very same field.

“Peter mentioned to him that there was a ring lost in the ’60s and put a stake in the ground where he remembered it to be. Then I get a phone call out of the blue and I can’t tell you how amazing it felt”.

Dave was delighted to collect the long-lost ring he parted with over five decades ago.

He added: “Its just unbelievable.

“I still can’t believe it. The fact that the original family still lived on the property is the only reason it happened.

“He obviously knew the background and if the land had been sold, I would have probably never had it back. I’m so thankful.”