Sometimes I really am speechless as to people’s generosity. I am reminded of this every time I look at a bracelet that was gifted to me. Why is this bracelet so special to me you may wonder? It was given to me by someone whom I did not even know.
Long story short, I saw a post in a Facebook group “ID ME” one day — a group that identifies mystery items dug while metal detecting. Staring back at me was my name on a sterling silver bracelet. I could hardly believe my eyes as I have never seen anything with my given name on it. The man that found it was curious about the design on the side. I made a comment on the post explaining my shock to seeing my name. I took a screenshot and then thought nothing more of it after that.
I believe it was three months later, I realized that there are multiple folders in Facebook Messenger. There was a hodgepodge of messages from strangers — metal detecting questions to things that have nothing to do with the hobby. But one in particular jumped out at me, it was from the owner of the Aggie bracelet!
I didn’t know if he would even respond given the length of time between messages, but I hoped he would. He was asking if Aggie was my real name. Yes, I explained Agatha was a family name passed down a couple generations. When I was born, that was going to be my name. But when my mom’s bundle of joy arrived, the name was so old and stuffy for such a beautiful, young baby. So she changed it to a more youthful sounding version, Aggie.
When I was a child, I would always check the keychain racks to look for my name. Then the bicycle license plates — nope. After a while I learned that Aggie was a unique name and that I would never find anything with my name on it. The only thing close were items from Texas A & M University.
The owner of the bracelet did in fact reply to my message and during our conversation, this complete stranger told me he needed my address and that he was sending the bracelet to me. We went back and forth, me trying to talk him out of sending it. Too generous to accept I explained. But he insisted that it belonged to me, that after years of spending in the darkness underground along a carriage path near Chicago where it was found, that it was only fitting that it was to see the light of day again on my wrist.
I was so excited to open the box when it arrived. It was so beautiful, the craftsmanship of the silver piece. And when I put it on my wrist and looked down at it, it was like Cinderella’s glass slipper, yes it was indeed meant for me.
But how do you thank someone for such generosity? A simple thank you message seemed too little. I decided to go through my finds and send him my two favorite items that I had found. The first was an 1876 seated dime. It was minted in Carson City, Nevada (two small CC’s on the reverse of the coin indicates this), making it a rare coin as the mint there was only open for a few years. The other was a very ornate button because he told me he likes to collect old buttons. Even then that didn’t seem like enough. So I thought of some old postcards from the late 1800s to early 1900s from Chicago I had — a stack of them as I collect postcards and these were a part of a collection that I bought. I had them for a long time and this was the opportunity to share them.
The man received the box and thanked me. He went on to explain that he showed his mother these cards, that they reminded her of the “old Chicago” in which she grew up and memories of surrounding attractions that are no longer there. He went on to say that she was so touched that she wept as she looked through them. These items will never come close to the value of what he gave me though.
The bracelet is priceless to me. And every time that I put it on my wrist, I think of his generosity. While it seems like the ratio of good people to bad is lopsided these days, this shows that there are still good-natured people still left in this world.
Just when you think this story cannot get any better, it does. I found a silver ring in October 2016 at one of the oldest homes in Plain City, Ohio built-in 1870. I was in complete shock when I brushed the dirt off of it. It’s almost an exact
match to my bracelet in design and color. The distance between the two finds is approximately 400 miles. It was almost like lightning striking, not once but twice. While the goal of metal detecting is about making good finds and preserving history, some of the best finds are the people you meet along the way