Florida metal detecting club finds Tennessee man's prized possession

For the past ten years, Rod Vaccari has worn his grandfather’s necklace. It was a gift from his grandmother.  

After wearing it every day for so long, he feels like it’s a part of him, but a trip to visit family in Ormond Beach made him think that piece of him was gone for good.

"She always told me not to wear the necklace when I’m at the beach. But I didn’t listen to my Grandma," said Vaccari.

A wave hit him from behind and knocked the necklace clean off.

"I was trying to find my necklace in the sand, and every time I stood up, another wave hit my head."

He turned to the Daytona Dig and Find Metal Detecting Club, pleading for help.


Daytona Dig and Find Metal Detecting Club

Dan Fuchs, one of the members of that club, said he lives nearby and felt bad when he saw an email from the club’s president explaining the story. So he grabbed his tools and got out in the sand with some other metal detecting buddies.

"We figured we’d never find it and that it would be long gone, because – how many changes of tide is that? It was five days later," said Fuchs. "We went out on the beach and set up a grid pretty much, worked the grid. There was an eroded spot that looked like it might hold something."

And then, they struck gold.

"I just picked up a little bit – I could see a little gold shining down there, so I just reached in, and there it was," recounted Fuchs.

Vaccari said he couldn’t believe it when he got the call.

"It was my last day in Ormond Beach because I had to head home to Chattanooga because I had to work on Monday," he explained.


For the past ten years, Rod Vaccari (right) has worn his grandfather’s necklace. 

Vaccari went over to meet the metal detecting club and retrieve his necklace. He says he told himself he wouldn’t cry when he saw it but didn’t manage to keep that promise.

"He was really bent out of shape," said Fuchs. "He was hugging me and had tears in his eyes and everything, and was really glad he got it back."

Vaccari confirmed that story.

Vaccari said he’ll never find a way to pay back Fuchs and the other guys who went looking for the necklace. Fuchs said Vaccari’s thanks are enough for him.

Both men said they came away from this incident with a bit of advice: Don’t wear jewelry to the beach.