Hey folks.  Tom Ashworth and I went to the park in Llano where they just finished up with the LEAF (rock stacking) festival.  This is a huge annual event that draws tourists and participants literally from all over the world.  With the crowds, we were anticipating at least a couple of bucks in dropped coins each.  Unfortunately, the coin drops were not as predicted.  Most of what we were recovering were items that had been in the ground for a good while.  For myself I recovered 1 quarter, 1 nickel, 1 penny, a really old buckle (from the river bed), a can lid, some barbed wire, and a couple of bolts.  Tom did quite a bit better.  He recovered 3 quarters, a nickel, 2 clad pennies, a 1920 Wheat penny, a 1946 Wheat penny, an intact 9mm cartridge, a 1946 10 centavos Mexican coin, a key, a lot of river trash, and a GOLD with DIAMOND ring.  We were both excited about the ring.  Tom recovered it in the riverbed next to a rock stack exhibit buried deep in the sand.  It was stamped 14K and H.G.E. followed by a symbol.  Based on how it looked as compared to the ring I inherited from my father I was guessing that the ring would appraise for $4k or better.   WELLLLLLLL. Tom asked me to prepare this post for both of our finds.  As per my custom I tried to research the markings to see if I could determine the manufacturer or perhaps a date range.  What I found really threw me, and more especially Tom, for a major loop.  The H.G.E. stands for "Heavy Gold Electroplate" meaning that the ring's base is an alloy that was then covered with a double layer of 14 carat gold by electroplating.  Don't know if Tom has a diamond tester (if he does not I will bring mine to Saturday's meeting) but given the size of the stone and that the ring is gold plate, the chances of the diamond being a real diamond are rather iffy.  Probably more likely to be CZ.   Bummer.  However, it is still a really neat ring and, as we all know, a ring is a ring.  AND Tom also recovered two great wheaties and an old Mexican coin.  Despite the heart-plunge, we both had a good time on this hunt.

Gary Bunyard