Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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‘That is beautiful, man.’ Actor Jon Cryer thrilled to get his wedding ring back thanks to Vancouver jewelry sleuth

‘That is beautiful, man.’ Actor Jon Cryer thrilled to get his wedding ring back thanks to Vancouver jewelry sleuth
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Standing on Vancouver’s iconic seawall, Vancouver’s iconic rain hammering down as the dark closed in, Jon Cryer was despondent.

On Friday night, the American actor had been walking to meet some castmates — he’s currently in B.C. because he’s playing Lex Luthor in the Supergirl TV series — when he pulled a hand out of his pocket and heard a tiny “ping,” he wrote in a Twitter thread that has since been shared by thousands. He walked a few more steps before he realized what had happened.

His wedding ring? Gone.

Cryer, probably best known for co-starring on Two and a Half Men, for which he won two Primetime Emmys, says he turned on the flashlight on his phone and began an ad hoc grid search of the pavement and soggy strip of grass, all the while wondering if it was possible the ring rolled right into the ocean.

“My wife and I have been married since 2007 and it’s hard to be away from each other,” he tweeted. “With quarantine in effect I can’t travel back and forth to see her while I’m shooting. Which sucks spectacularly. Losing my ring is making the pain more acute.”

Enter former professional soccer goalkeeper Chris Turner. Luckily for Cryer, Turner’s big saves these days involve rings.

As Cryer would discover, Turner has turned a childhood passion for metal detecting into a global web of fellow enthusiasts who will go almost anywhere — into the woods, water, even down cliffsides — to find missing rings. Turner says he usually asks for money to cover his gas, and people otherwise pay what they can afford for his services. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” he says.

Turner saved up his money to buy his first metal detector when he was 12, and on one of his earliest quests for buried treasure, unearthed the ring his elderly neighbour had lost in her garden. She was speechless. He was hooked.

Fast forward a few decades, and the two men connected when Cryer stumbled across the site Turner runs called, simply, The Ring Finders, an international directory of passionate jewelry hunters. Being in Vancouver, Cryer reached Turner himself.

Turner’s initial professional impression was not optimistic — the area where Cryer was walking is not what he considered prime territory to shelter a hidden ring. A narrow strip of grass divides two paths, just metres from where the seawall drops down into the water. It was most likely that someone in the busy area already took the ring, he concluded.

Still, Turner, who estimates he’s personally found close to 600 rings over the last three decades, is used to doing what he calls “closure searches,” which is when he does a pass with his metal detector just to help people realize their ring is gone and they need to move on with their lives. He assumed this would be one of those times.

He says he didn’t realize Cryer was famous until he arrived to meet him — he admits he did tell the star he was a fan, and says Cryer was “so humble and nice” about it — but quickly got down to work.

While Cryer, who could not be reached for comment, walked around inspecting crevices in the sidewalk, Turner got out the metal detector he’d brought. He owns several, and this one was particularly good at finding gold.

What he found surprised even him.

In the decades he’s been doing this, Turner has gotten good at what he refers to as faking people out, a move he does so he can better catch their happy reactions.

In a video posted to his YouTube channel Sunday, Turner turns to Cryer and asks him, “how does it feel?” Cryer is confused: “How does what feel?”

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With that, Turner plucks his ring out of the grass.

Cryer looks floored. “Oh no. Oh, you’re kidding me.”

“That is beautiful, man, that is absolutely beautiful,” he says, as he takes his ring back. It passes the final test as Cryer slips it back onto his finger, and it fits perfectly.

Turner says it’s just another day at the office, where he feels lucky to get to reunite people with their long lost jewelry. His YouTube channel is filled with what he calls the “epic reactions” of people realizing their ring has been found.

He says it’s not unusual for rings to fall right off your finger, like Cryer’s did, and that is more likely in the rain. He recently located a couple of rings that someone was photographing, right up until they toppled off a patio and over a small cliff. Occasionally he says someone will throw a ring which adds an unknown variable to the search. “People get this bionic super strength when they’re mad,” Turner notes.

People also lose rings taking off gloves, wiping their hands on their pants, throwing balls to dogs, and sometimes just by taking them off, putting them down, and forgetting. But all that matters to Turner is trying to get the ring back.

“Every ring I’ve ever found has a beautiful story attached to it, and when that ring is lost the story ends,” he says. “So what I do, and what my directory and my members do, is we help continue that story by finding it.”

Alex Boyd

Alex Boyd is a Calgary-based reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @alex.n.boyd





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