The Ring Finder

A Vancouver man has sparked a global community of love through his metal detector and a smartphone. He’s helping reconnect people with their lost jewelry; rekindling romances and restoring precious memories.

Lost Rings. Lost Owners.

When Chris Turner finds a piece of jewelry that doesn’t seem to have an owner, he feels as though it’s a love story cut short. Through his vast network of Ring Finder friends around the globe, he hopes to reunite people with their lost rings not only when they’ve been gone for one day or one week but even if they’ve been missing for a generation.

4 facts about lost rings you may not know

Losing your wedding or engagement ring is more common than you might think.

  1. Almost 40 per cent of men will lose their wedding ring and 25 per cent of women will lose their engagement ring
    • In a survey conducted by, nearly four out of 10 married men admitted to losing or misplacing their wedding band at some point during their marriage.
    • According to Laura Preshong, ethical fine jewellery retailer, one in four women lose their rings, and often while travelling.
  2. The most common place to lose your jewellery is while doing leisurely activities
    • Whether it be the pool, the beach, the gym, a ski trip while taking off your gloves, while playing with your kids in the park or even gardening, plenty of rings, watches, earrings and bracelets have been lost doing some of your favourite things.
  1. Lost engagement rings are the most expensive to lose
    • Aside from the sentimental value, couples spend more money on engagement rings than their wedding rings. Early in 2016, rate comparison website pegged the average price of an engagement ring in Canada to be $4,000.
  2. Most home insurance policies provide basic coverage for jewellery like wedding and engagement rings. But, that coverage often falls short of the total replacement value unless you “schedule” additional coverage into your policy.
    • According to Sun Life Financial contributor, Lisa Ng, the cost of adding “scheduled” jewellery to your home insurance typically ranges from 1.5 to 2 per cent of its appraised value (because diamond jewellery tends to appreciate over time as diamond prices rise, insurance companies commonly require a new appraisal every five years). So, depending on your insurer’s rates, your $5,000 engagement ring could cost between $75 and $100 per year to insure.


These precious pieces of jewellery are looking for their owners. Are they yours?


Rob Whitley, PhD
Love more; it’s good for your mental health

Love has resisted scientific investigation. In many ways, love is undefinable and unquantifiable. Love is tangible to the senses, as are similar concepts such as forgiveness and hope. However love cannot be easily separated and examined under the scientist’s microscope. Perhaps this element of love’s intangibility is for the better?

That said, some mental health research has attempted to examine love indirectly. In my work at McGill, I have ventured to try and understand the link between love and mental health. This has mainly been through interviews with research participants suffering from mental illness. In these interviews, I try to understand love’s role in healing and recovery.

My work is part of a wider tradition in mental health research. Indeed there are three significant strands of exploration in this regard. Firstly, researchers have examined the relationship between social connection and positive mental health. Secondly, they have investigated the link between loneliness and negative mental health. Thirdly, they have examined the biological basis of all these processes.

One strand has examined the impact of positive factors such as social support, social capital and social connection, which in many ways could be considered social science euphemisms for love. This research shows a positive correlation between dense and meaningful social connections and positive mental health such as higher reported quality of life and subjective well-being.

Indeed, a classic study found that the happiest 10 per cent of people spent the least time alone and the most time socializing with family, romantic partners or friends. Likewise, a recent study conducted by Dr. Frank Elgar at McGill shows that adolescents who have four or more family dinners per week have increased positive well-being and life satisfaction.

All this could have a biological foundation. Indeed, some research associates feelings of love with hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin; the latter sometimes known as the ‘love drug’. These hormones have been related to feelings of human connectedness and well-being, often linked with pair-bonding with a romantic partner or a child.

Another strand of research has examined the mental health impact of social isolation and loneliness, these perhaps being indicators of an absence of love. This research indicates a correlation between social isolation and numerous negative mental health outcomes, including suicide, depression and substance abuse.

In other words, love is good for your mental health, and an absence of love is troublesome. What can we do to address this?

We can redouble our efforts to support those who may be isolated. We can reach out to strangers and lend a helping hand. We can spend less time thinking about ourselves and more time connecting with people.

Spreading love by paper hearts, sweet treats and conversation

Project Love is a collective of scholars based at McGill University whose mission is to:

  1. Spread love on the streets of Montreal and beyond;
  2. Better understand the nature of love and its impact on mental health and well-being; and
  3. Combat the epidemic of loneliness and isolation plaguing many people.

Last year our team went out with a video camera just before Valentine’s Day to ask people their definitions of love and the impact it has on their lives. In order to spread a little love ourselves, we also gave out chocolates and goodies to the general public.

Rob Whitley is the Principal Investigator of the Social Psychiatry Research and Interest Group (SPRING) at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University.

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