Manitoba

Manitoba metal hunter helps find wedding rings, family relics

A typical summer day for Robert Unik includes grabbing his trowel, his metal detector and searching for Manitobans' long lost belongings.

Robert Unik has found 3 lost rings already this year

Robert Unik helped find a wedding ring in a baseball field. (Submitted to CBC)

A typical summer day for Robert Unik includes grabbing his trowel, his metal detector and searching for Manitobans' long lost belongings.

The Selkirk man is "addicted" to hunting the grass, garden and baseball diamonds of the province with his trusty Garrett At Pro International metal detector, he said.

"It's the thrill. It's like a miniature lottery when you open that hole. What is it underneath there?" Unik said.

To get his hunting fill, Unik has started using social media to reach out to anyone needing help finding a missing item. This year, he has already found three lost wedding rings.

"This woman, Candace, [said] her husband lost a wedding ring at a baseball diamond," Unik said of his latest search last week.

"We found it in about 45 minutes of looking.… It was between the grass and second base."

The thrill of the hunt means Unik doesn't charge for his services, although sometimes he will take some compensation for gas if the location is far from home.

"I always feel great [when] I'm helping somebody find something, especially when it's cherished, like a wedding ring, things like that," he said.

After 45 minutes of searching, the ring was located between the grass and second base. (Submitted to CBC)

Earlier in the summer he helped locate a missing wedding ring for an older woman whose husband had died just three years before.

"I've never seen a woman bawl so much. I was choked [up] with her," he said.

A benefit is people usually allow him to search the rest of their property, especially old farms, for other items, such as coins and shoe buckles, he said.

But even then, Unik doesn't search simply for his own gain.

"Everything I find is their history," he said.

"When I find something and it's their great-grandfather or maybe grandmother that held it, to me, it means a lot more that they own it than I do."

Last summer Robert Unik found $880 of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies and toonies. (Submitted to CBC)

Unik has found some unique items hidden in Manitoba, including a 4,500-year-old copper spearhead and an 1877 American half-dollar, which looked brand new, as if "it just dropped out of someone's pocket."

Last summer he said he also found $880 in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies and toonies.

If people have items they've lost or are willing to let him search their property, they can email him at Unik1@shaw.ca, he said.

With files from Kelly Malone and Erin Brohman

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