Kevin Niefer is an old hand at getting out and searching around with his metal detector.
“Thirty-three years I’ve been out treasure hunting,” Niefer said. “You never know what you’re going to find.”
The veteran realtor was out sweeping his detector around at Lake Sikome, in Calgary’s Fish Creek Provincial Park, when he struck gold.
“This ring, I would’ve found probably about 25 years ago,” Niefer said.
Which was a couple of years after Chris Spronk was given a real treasure.
“It was Christmas 1992. My mom was already sick with stage four liver cancer and we knew we didn’t have long,” Spronk said. “She had taken all the gold that she had worn in her life — there was some stuff that she had from when she was a child that her mother had given her.”
Spronk’s mother had the gold melted down and had two rings made, one for him and one for his brother.
“She passed away four months after that and I wore it all the time,” Spronk said.
“It was a piece of her, it was always with me.”
Until the summer of 1995, when he was enjoying the sunshine at Lake Sikome, throwing a football around in the water.
“I go to throw and I look at my hand, and it’s like, my ring wasn’t there,” Spronk said. “I came back with my brother. We took all the screens out of our apartment and tried to screen the sand, we rented a metal detector, and we had no luck whatsoever. And then, I just finally chalked it up that it was gone.”
And then, flash forward to 2020 and over the past few days, Spronk and Niefer became connected on social media.
“And I am reading, and I go, ‘Oh, I have that ring!,’” Niefer said. “Typically, a lot of guys don’t keep those rings that long. They will melt them down or sell them. And I have just kind of kept them, just in case, right.”
He arranged to meet up with Spronk Tuesday at Lake Sikome, to hand over the ring he’d found a quarter-century ago.
“For Kevin to have the integrity to hang onto something like that, because it may be important to somebody and then maybe someday it’ll be found, it blows me away,” Spronk said. “On the inside (of the ring) it says ‘Chris, love Mom.’ I think a mother’s love for her sons is something special.”
“And your mom now, looking down, she’s probably thrilled too,” Niefer said.
“Thank you for the storage for 25 years,” Spronk told Niefer. “Because now I can enjoy it again and I really know what it means to me — Wow!”
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