Jenolan Caves

The Quest for the Ring

November 18, 2016

The caves of Jenolan are strangely sensual, steeped in romance and passion. It’s a place that inspires marriage proposals, and it’s a popular venue for weddings, honeymoons and romantic escapes.

Last week, a distraught young woman came into the Guides Office at Jenolan Caves and said that she had lost her engagement ring in the Blue Lake. The backpacking couple had only been engaged 2 days! She had been standing, admiring the pure waters of the beautiful Blue Lake, watching for platypus, when she casually swished at a fly. She heard a plop, and realised to her horror that the ring, which was slightly too big, had flown off her finger into the lake.

Several cave guides raced down to the lake and began a lengthy quest for the ring, wading around in the frigid waters that flow from the caves, but without success.

An engagement ring is so much more than just a band of precious metal sporting an expensive jewel. The lost ring had been specially made with love, its design already steeped in family lore. The couple were devastated by the loss.

So the next day they called in a specialist. Tony, from Jewellery Rescue, searched, using a state of the art waterproof metal detector. He said, “That couple was very lucky. It took me longer than usual to find the ring, because I had to search through 200 years of bits and pieces that people have dropped into the Blue Lake – especially ring-pull tabs from aluminium drink cans. The Blue Lake can be deep in places, and metal objects are heavy, so they sink down in the sand and dirt, but luckily I found it only about a foot from the shore and under about 3cm of silt.”

So ended the quest. The precious ring was recovered and the young couple went away happy – a great story for their grandchildren.

Tony gets asked to find lost jewellery around 3 times a week. This was his first time retrieving something at Jenolan. Previously, the closest he came to Jenolan Caves was Duckmaloi Road last winter, where a couple were playing in the snow. The cold loosened the engagement ring and as they launched snow balls at each other, it just slipped off and flew through the air. Tony was successful in that instance also.

Tony said, “Sentimental value is the key thing, for everybody that calls me out. It’s never about the money. I’ve discovered that.”

When asked if he has ever found other valuable things when he was looking for someone’s jewellery, Tony said, “Twice, I’ve found rings, but not the ones that I was looking for. I just handed them into the police. But over the years I have found thousands of dollars worth of coins.”

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4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains NSW. Ph: 1300 76 33 11 or +61 2 6359 3911

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