Kevin Niefer (right) reunited Chris Spronk with his gold ring nearly 30 years after it originally went missing at Sikome Lake. Courtesy of Kevin Niefer

For veteran REALTOR® Kevin Niefer, uniting people with their new homes is a full-time job. However, in a first for him, he recently had the opportunity to reunite someone with a long-lost family treasure.

An avid treasure hunter, Niefer was out with his metal detector at Sikome Lake when he discovered a gold ring. Rather than keeping it for himself, Niefer set it aside among his collection of odds and ends.

And there it sat, for 25 years.

“I’m a big believer that if something is meant to be, it’s going to happen,” said Niefer.

Rewind to 1992: Chris Spronk, having received the ring from his mother on her deathbed, is playing football with friends in Sikome Lake when the rings slips off his finger and into the water. Given the sentimental value of the ring – Spronk’s mother had identical rings made from her old gold jewelry as keepsakes for Chris and his brother – he returned to the lake several times to search, but to no avail.

“I was (upset) at myself, I went back to the lake numerous times to look for it,” said Spronk. “After a while, I wrote it off – chalk it up to a loss and move on.”

Little did Spronk know that the ring’s journey was not at an end.

“I was dumbfounded. I was blown away that it even existed still.” – Chris Spronk

“I got tagged on Facebook from a lady in my metal-detecting club that there was a guy who was looking for a lost ring,” said Niefer. “I’m reading his comments that he lost this ring 25 years ago in Sikome Lake… so he describes the ring and I’m reading it and I go, ‘I have that ring.’”

Kevin Niefer with his trusty metal detector.
Courtesy of Kevin Niefer

After exchanging a few texts and reassuring Spronk that everything was on the up and up, Niefer was able to put the ring back in the hands of its original owner.

“I was dumbfounded,” said Spronk. “I was blown away that it even existed still.”

For Niefer, getting the ring back to Spronk came as an affirmation of sorts.

“Some guys in the club melt them down or sell them or pawn them off, but I just never have – it never felt right,” said Niefer. “I haven’t worn them either. Some people wear them, but I thought it’s bad luck.

“You look at all the circumstances and go, ‘How does that even happen?’ It is just so rare, but it was pretty fulfilling.”