A despairing woman has unearthed a diamond engagement ring she lost in a field 18 months ago after returning to the site with a metal detector.
Debbie Newton, 61, dropped the gold ban on August 29, 2016, while sparring in a war re-enactment to commemorate the English Civil War.
But she didn’t realise it was missing until she was returning from the site in Newport Pagnell, Bucks., to her home 140 miles away in Rawcliffe, Yorks.
She and her husband John went been back twice to search for her ring on their hands and knees – eventually finding it after they went back last week with a metal detector.
Debbie, who works in education, said: “It’s just staggering. I had a hunch where it was, but when we first went over that bit with the detector nothing pinged.
“We were about to leave and I thought we would give it another go. I’m glad we did. I was getting ready to accept it was gone.
“Nobody thought we would find it but now I’ll be extra sure to keep it safe.”
John proposed to Debbie 39 years ago in 1979 and they later married a year later in August 1980.
She had taken the ring off to put in her purse for safe keeping during the display, in which she pretended to be an artillery officer in charge of a large cannon.
Mum-of-two Debbie said: “We were waiting to start the event and it must have got kicked into the long grass, I hadn’t realised it was lost.”
She had started to give up hope of ever finding the gold band, and her husband John even bought her a replacement during a trip to New York in October last year.
Debbie is unsure of the value of the ring but was adamant she wanted to find it for sentimental reasons.
The couple returned to the field last week , only for John to dig it up just minutes before they were to give up after a fruitless two-and-a-half hour search.
Debbie explained a ring is supposed to ping twice when picked up by a metal detector but because the ring was lodged upright, it only pinged once.
Luckily, they still decided to dig it up and find it buried underneath an inch of mud.
Debbie couldn’t put the ring on straight away as her hands were so cold from digging in the mud, but after heading to town for a coffee with her husband she gave the ring a quick clean and it fit perfectly.
She has decided that on future re-enactments, the rings will be staying at home. s
A Newport Pagnell council spokesperson said: “How very fortunate, it’s a very large ground!”