Joe Au-Franz

  • Land/Shallow Water Search
  • Diver/Underwater Search

Cost For My Service

I work on a reward basis and the reward is agreed upon in advance. So, other than a local trip charge of $25 to cover my gas expense, if I'm unable to find what you lost, no matter how many hours I spend looking for it, you won't owe me a thing for my time.

This service anything on land and up to chest deep water only.

Anything above chest deep water we'll need to use scuba equipment for that service there's a $75 charge to suit in advance.

Search Types

Beaches, Parks, Yards, Playgrounds Campgrounds and Jobsites

I'm also a certified scuba diver and have my own boat if needed. I use the Minelab Excalibur II detector that is proven to work well on the island’s iron rich soils and underwater to 100’.

Search Locations

I cover all of Oahu. Mountains, valleys, coast and down to 100 feet underwater.

Joe Au-Franz's Bio

I'm originally from Erie, Pennsylvania and moved to Hawaii in 1980 as

an Electronic Warfare Operator Maintenance Technician in the US Navy.

My experience metal detecting is on Oahu in just about every environment

imaginable from local parks and beaches to underwater dive sites. I live 10

minutes from Waikiki.

With a little luck and a blessing I should be able to find your cherished


Check out my Facebook page “Metal Detecting Oahu” for some information on

how Metal Detecting can be used to find your valuables or just a fun

activity to do.

Joe Au-Franz - Recent Blog Post

Joe Au-Franz - Testimonials

  • You’ve truly made our stay even more magical! (2021)


    Hi Joe,

    Thank you so much for finding my ring so quickly. We were in full panic especially since we are celebrating our honeymoon. I cannot thank you enough!

    If I ever lose anything back home in Ohio, I may just have to fly you out. Given that you find things so quickly we’d have plenty of time to treat you to a meal and a Cleveland Browns game!

    You’ve truly made our stay even more magical!

  • I’m so glad that we found Joe! (2021)


    Joe is so professional, my friends and I spent one hour to dig with our bare hands and found nothing. Joe came and within 30s and found it! He was so helpful, I’m so glad that we found Joe! I really appreciate his help, thank you so much Joe!

  • You are a savior. You are the best, keep doing the good work! (2021)


    Joe I cannot thank you enough for finding my ring. Even I was aware that the chances were slim as I lost it 2 days ago. I wanted to give one more shot and was just hoping for a miracle. You were quick to respond and were there at the Waikiki beach within an hour from my 1st call to you. You put time and so much efforts to look for it in the nearby area too. It felt surreal when you scooped my ring from the sand. You are a savior. You are the best, keep doing the good work!

    Mahalo Loi noa!

  • But thanks to you, Joe, our honeymoon was not ruined... (2021)


    Joe!! Our absolute savior. You have no idea how much immense relief you brought us upon finding my ring. From right outta the gate I felt comforted! From our initial phone call I could TELL you were a master of your profession. I’m not kidding in the least. I was panicky, tired and literally lost all hope. I still can’t believe to this day how quickly my ring disappeared. But as soon as I heard your voice, full of professional assurance, and underlying confidence I knew, I just KNEW things were going to be ok.

    It was absolutely petrifying calling an absolute stranger in the middle of my honeymoon in Hawaii. But thanks to you, Joe, our honeymoon was not ruined. I remember scampering to meet you, my nerves shot and my entire soul and body tense with frustration. When you approached me and said so confidently, this will be fun! I knew I made the right choice! So many affirmations, Joe. You handled our plight with calmness and ease.

    And yes, I gladly gave you 250.00 on the spot bc you deserved it. Yes, I had insurance on my ring but I KNOW if we gave up and went that route to get a replacement I would’ve felt like a failure. I’m so glad I went on a damn limb to contact you. Even just from one meeting I can tell you’re passionate about your job, helping others, and just…. Making a impact.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing! You’ve helped me tremendously and we both thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Mahalo and thanks for your service... (2021)


    Joe, thanks so much for recovering my gold wedding band. I had given up on ever seeing it again. Although I think my location estimate was the more accurate one, all that matters is that you were successful and we became your 237th recovery. Mahalo and thanks for your service as well.

  • Thank you Joe!! (2021)


    So glad Joe was able to find my wedding ring! We were so sure my ring was gone but luckily Aulani recommended calling Joe. He was so professional and quick to recover my lost ring! Thank you Joe!!

  • Joe was great... (2021)


    Joe was great, replied to my text promptly, explained the options related to the location and gave a realistic expectation given the level of visibility if it was in deeper water. Communication was great and kept me updated. He did everything in a very friendly and professional manner, and found the ring way faster than I was expecting! Much mahalos to Joe!

  • Joe found the ring. We will never forget this. Thank you Joe! (2021)


    Joe’s post, shared his side perfectly. Here’s our side. While kayaking at Kailua Bay, my wife was swimming ashore while bringing in the kayaks, the ring slipped off her finger and fell into the water. We were roughly 15ft from land so the water was turbulent enough to keep the sand suspended covering the entire bottom making it impossible to find the ring. We searched for hours with help from our friends and, a kind lady and her young son. But no luck, the ring was lost. I thought to myself “Perhaps some person in the future will be able to find it.” We left discouraged and heartbroken. I assured my wife we would get it replaced somehow. Two days after, our close friends, Camille and Andrew, who were traveling with us recommended we look for someone who could find it. They pointed us to Ring Finders. There we found Joe. We were hopeful but realized that asking someone to find a ring that was buried somewhere in turbulent waves and sand was a tough ask. We met up with Joe at the beach. He asked me to point him to where the general area was and we marked it in the sand. He then told me to hold his phone and sunglasses as he waded out into the water like a total boss. Within 15 minutes, and to our absolute astonishment, Joe found the ring. We will never forget this. Thank you Joe!

  • Joe is the first call you should make. He’s a professional through and through. (2021)


    I probably can’t do this review justice because I am so incredibly grateful to have my ring back that words just don’t quite capture it.

    I lost my ring on my one week anniversary and it really had the potential to place a black mark on my honeymoon. My wife was incredibly understanding but I just felt so awful about losing the ring that was present at our ceremony.

    Joe was understanding, patient, and calming at a moment when I was quite honestly losing my mind. He came quickly; he asked the right questions; and he explained his process very clearly.

    He took his time on his first search that night but my lack of guidance took him in the wrong direction (as we later found out). He then showed up the next morning and swept a larger area and found my ring!

    Joe is the first call you should make. He’s a professional through and through.

  • OMG! Joe is a HERO! (2021)


    OMG! Joe is a HERO! As he mentioned in the post, he was just finishing up at the Lagoon when I approached him about my lost earring. He didn’t even hesitate in offering to help. Just asked where I had been when I lost it and we set off to search. After a while I was needing to get back to my car and he even offered to keep looking after I left and contact me if he found it. But luckily I stayed a bit longer…and then heard him say “I got it!” I couldn’t believe it! Sure enough there he was in the water with my missing earring in his hand. I absolutely never would have found it on my own. I cannot thank Joe enough for his kindness, time and energy, and skill in finding my earring. ????

  • It made my birthday one of the most memorable ones ever... (2021)


    It is hard to describe the roller coaster of emotions associated with losing something that is a family heirloom while on vacation. One minute you are having a blast with the kids and the next minute you are searching frantically hoping you get lucky and find the needle in the haystack. The ring I lost was special because it belonged to my father who passed away from cancer. After a few days with no luck searching or calling lost and found to see if someone had turned it in I felt like I was leaving a memento of my father in Hawaii forever. When my wife got in touch with Joe I was hopeful that he might be able to help. When we landed at home and my wife showed me the picture of the ring from Joe I was thrilled! It made my birthday one of the most memorable ones ever and I will be forever grateful that we found Joe! Thank you Joe for making the roller coaster end on a high note! Justin and Susie Busse

  • Thank you so much Joe! (2021)


    Hey Joe, I would just like to thank you again so much for meeting me out there! I know we were out there for a long time and I was starting to lose hope but I’m super glad you never gave up. I know how much that ring meant to Sharon. I thank God for being with us that day and allowing you to find it even after 2 days. Thank you so much Joe!

  • Once again we’re both so thankful for Joe's hard work! (2021)


    What a great way to start the new year’s day for Elijah and I, extremely grateful for Joe's determination to find our wedding rings. we we’re definitely at a loss for words when we discovered we had lost them but we’re so thankful Joe was able to come as quick as he could and find them instantly. Joe wasn’t kidding when he said “oh we’re going to find these rings”, definitely calmed down my nerves of having my husband losing them. Once again we’re both so thankful for Joe's hard work!

  • Thank you so much!! (2020)


    I can't thank you enough!! After the first two sweeps, I honestly thought I’d never see the ring my parents gave me for my sweet 16th again. I won't be going into the ocean with this ring ever again..but if I do, you will definitely be the first person I call! Thank you so much!!

  • You’re a godsend! (2020)


    Aloha Joe! Thank you so much for finding the ring, from both myself and my wife. I had completely given up hope on Sat night, so getting it back was a total shock. You’re a godsend!

  • We have already recommended this service and will continue to do so to our friends and family. (2020)


    We couldn’t be more grateful to Joe for finding this wedding band for us! We snorkeled around for two days after our dog knocked the ring off of Reeve’s hand, and when the weather took a turn to the worse we were worried that we’d never find it. We have been married for just over a year, and even though the ring is just a symbol, it was so sad to have lost it. I was delighted when my phone lit up one morning with photos from Joe of Reeve with his ring. Now that we have the ring back, I think that it’s magical that the ocean got to wear it for awhile.

    We have already recommended this service and will continue to do so to our friends and family.

    Thank you so much for your help, Joe!

  • I could not be more thankful that I called... (2019)

    I really cannot express the appreciation and gratitude I have for Joe. I had very little hopes for finding our keys from an extensive search a day ago. I got a tip from the Honda dealership to reach out specifically to Joe before going through the expensive replacement. They told me, “if it’s there, he’ll find it.” I could not be more thankful that I called. He’s extremely professional and a genuinely kind person. He even was educating me on the hunt! He was a true pleasure to work with. Thanks so much again Joe and I will absolutely never forget it!

  • What a blessing you are ! (2019)


    Wow! Victoria has just flewn into Hawaii, visiting my daughter, Hannah, best friends. Thanks to you sir, Tori and Justin will have a very happy ending to their story to share with their future kids and grands, after a very eventful first day in Hawaii! ????????

    What a blessing you are !


  • Words cannot express our gratitude (2019)


    Words cannot express our gratitude to Joe for recovering Luis’ ring from the Nai’a Lagoon.

  • Joe is the man who can find it (2019)


    Mahalo again Joe. Our honeymoon was truly saved, thank you again for being so awesome and taking your time out of a nice weekend morning to find a stranger’s ring. For anyone who needs to find a precious jewelers piece, know that it can be found and Joe is the man who can find it. Thank you so much.

  • a Christmas miracle come true! (2018)


    I am Mike. The lucky veteran who had a Christmas miracle come true!

    This will be a simple statement. I didn’t believe anyone would ever find my ring.

    He found it on a huge beach with crashing waves in about 5 minutes. And he doesn’t charge you anything!! Yup, nada. He accepts reward money.

    If you loose your metal valuables. Call him ASAP. He WILL find it.

    Thanks again sir!

  • Joe was quick to reply and happy to help. (2018)


    I am glad I was persistent in looking for ways to get my ring back as some of the hotel staff did not know that Joe was the person to call for this situation. After a brief google search and a single text the day after I lost the ring, Joe was quick to reply and happy to help. A tip for those looking at this website, if your hotel services do not know this outfit by name, tell them explicitly who is coming and it may ring a bell. Even if it does not, these guys know who to talk to to get on the beach quickly.

    Joe’s intuition on expanding the search beyond my recollection of where I thought I lost it shows that his experience is paramount in these waters. Wading in almost chest deep water, he found my Claddagh in about 45 minutes. I appreciate his diligence to push his grid to the limit as this ring is an original from Galway, Ireland.

    Mahalo, Joe.

  • Joe, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. (2018)


    Joe, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My wife and I’ve been married for 13 years and I’ve always taken pride in not losing my ring even though it has gotten looser as I’ve lost weight. I’ve been to multiple beaches and even swam with it at Waimea Valley and never had an issue. I was mortified when I realized that it slipped off in the waves and was almost immediately buried by some strong waves. I searched for about an hour with no luck. I was thrilled you would be out the next day but still had a restless night of sleep. I’d grown quite attached to the ring and feared I’d never see it again or would have to wait weeks. I really appreciate your determination to find it, you helped ensure my family’s first vacation to Hawaii remained a magical one for all.

  • I am truly grateful for all your aloha and genuine desire to simply help others. (2018)


    It’s crazy to think that after hours of searching on my own I had almost given up. I’m so glad I found your website and decided to give you a call. Seeing you pop your head out of the water holding my ring in your hand was an incredible relief… exactly where I thought it was yet i would have never found it on my own. I am truly grateful for all your aloha and genuine desire to simply help others. Mahalo Joe!

  • He’s the best, Thanks again Joe! (2018)


    True story! Joe was amazing. He saved our vacation when he showed up to look for my rings, it was only a matter of minutes. He called me and was at the beach quickly and knew exactly what he was doing! He’s the best, Thanks again Joe!

  • If you ever lose something – you can trust this guy! 500% (2018)


    One word “HONEST”

    I was worried about telling a stranger the location of my lost ring- cause you know, you never know. But as soon as I laid eyes on him, I knew he was an honest person – he was super nice, like if he were a family member helping you , took his time- not pushy, attitude free – an overall cool nice person. I am so glad I found his name and website – if you ever lose something – you can trust this guy! 500% – and congratulations Joe! And thank you again – happy new year !

  • Thank you Joe! You are awesome! (2017)


    Thank you Joe! You are awesome! I still cannot believe you found my ring. I thought it would be lost forever on the beach or to Mother Ocean. I don’t know what I expected when I arranged to meet you on the beach to search, but I felt I had to at least try. And you actually did it, you found my wedding ring! I still cannot believe it, especially after all the places the ring could have been. Thank you for what you do. Until now I had no idea that people like you existed. Joe’s not just a guy with a metal detector, he cares and has pretty good skills

  • Joe is a “magic man” with his metal detector (2017)


    Joe is a “magic man” with his metal detector, his experience and his expertise, but more importantly, he is a kind, caring & wonderful man! His motivation and enthusiasm to help is not driven by fees or money 。。。he genuinely wants to help people recover lost items that have, for the owner, a deep sentimental value that often times is priceless! In my case, my wedding ring was intrinsically a piece of platinum but, spiritually, it was a symbol of a beautiful bond of love between myself and my wife Yasuyo. My ordeal began when I took my ring off off to apply sunscreen on my wife’s back while we were enjoying a beautiful day at Lanikai Beach. I forgot to put it back on 。。。we left the beach later in the day without my ring. The moment I realized I lost my ring I felt a sudden rush of sadness and desperation 。。。I could not think of anything but my lost ring 。。。I kept recalling the day Yasuyo slipped it on my finger 。。。I had to find my ring. Determined, I drove back to Lanikai Beach that evening with a flashlight, a strainer bucket and a hand shovel and searched for my ring for over an hour with no luck 。。。my search seemed futile. I left Lanikai dejected. Thinking of solutions on my drive home I thought I might be able to rent a metal detector and began searching the internet as soon as I arrived home. I checked a few sites with no luck then came upon Joe’s “Ring Finders” site and began reading 。。。the information and testimonials convinced me that Joe was my man. I called Joe at 8:30 the next morning and the next thing you know I’m meeting him at Lanikai Beach at 9:30. Talk about quick response time. He began searching the area as he describes and in less than ten minutes my wedding ring is back on my finger 。。。a feeling of relief and elation consumed me 。。。I was “bonded” with Yasuyo once again. I can’t describe my happiness and satisfaction 。。。overwhelmed. Joe shook my hand and took photos of the moment 。。。truly grateful to Joe Au-Franz. In parting Joe told me that “if anyone you know ever experiences a similar loss tell them to not give up 。。。tell them to call me 。。。I can find anything”! Amen Joe! By the way, I told Joe that I think he has the best job in the world

  • The world needs more people like you!! (2017)


    I just wanted to write and say than you for the time you spent looking for my son’s wedding ring!! You all are awesome, and Jim could not say enough wonder things about all of you. We live in Wisconsin, and weren’t able to help him when he called and told us! The world needs more people like you!! God bless each of you. Your website is awesome to read. Continued success in making people smile…….you did for us and renewed our faith in humanity!! ☺

  • Joe Au-Franz: Hero of our honeymoon! (2017)


    Joe Au-Franz: Hero of our honeymoon! After snorkeling around the waters where I lost my ring for over and hour, my wife and I thought all hope was lost! On a lark I did an internet search, found Joe and the rest is history! If you think there is ANY chance of finding your lost ring (or maybe even if you don’t!), give Joe a call he will amaze you! You can tell he loves the hunt and really wants to help you out!

  • Joe was on the beach within an hour with his metal detector. (2017)


    We had come to Waikiki Beach for our honeymoon after getting married in Maryland a few months ago.

    On our first day in the ocean my wedding band slipped off my finger and sunk down to the bottom of the beach. We looked frantically for about an hour using our snorkels, but we figured that it was lost in the sand.

    We spent the rest of that day pretty bummed and convinced that it was lost. The next morning my wife had the idea to post on craigslist the location of the ring and asking for help. Within 10 minutes Joe responded and stated that he would be at the location quickly.

    Joe was on the beach within an hour with his metal detector. Although we were flying to Maui that day, Joe promised to call us if he found anything. As soon as we landed in Maui, we received a call from Joe and were elated when he told us that he found the ring and would be able to send it priority mail to our hotel here, just in time for New Years. Thank you Joe!

  • I didn’t think we’d ever see the ring again. You are a Godsend! Xoxoxo… (2017)


    Thank you so much for finding my husband’s ring Joe! It’s been 7 years since we last visited Hawaii & this time with 2 kids so our heads are all over the place.

    He was pretty upset about it & woke up extra early to rent a metal detector to do his own hunt. I didn’t think we’d ever see the ring again. You are a Godsend! Xoxoxo…

  • It’s really awesome to meet someone who’s so kind and dedicated. (2016)


    Thank you very much Joe!

    Im the guy in the pic above… And I bet you could imagine the panic that was going through my head when I lost the rings! It was also heart wrenching to watch the couple – who put their rings in my hand along with their trust – go through the process of thinking that they would never see their cherished items again. I had to continue with the shoot but the idea popped up about having someone with a metal detector come out and help search for the rings. I did a quick google search and found and went to USA>Hawaii and gave the first guy a call.. He was kind and helpful. He suggested that I should give Joe a call because he was already preocupied. As Joe said, he called me back and we set a time to meet… he said that he wanted to go ASAP and the sun was already set… We met up around 820pm. Amazed by how dedicated he was to help MY customers! We drove to Waimanalo and I showed him where I lost the rings, he drew a few lines in the sand and went at it. No more than 5 mins later, there they were. I immediately took a pick and sent it to my couple. Our smiles were from ear to ear! We are very grateful for Joes services and kindness. It’s really awesome to meet someone who’s so kind and dedicated. He took a reward for finding the rings which he left up to us and I gave him everything I had in my pocket. He told me that it was too much, but I thought it wasn’t enough.

  • It was a sickening feeling when I noticed my wedding band was no longer on my finger. (2016)


    It was a sickening feeling when I noticed my wedding band was no longer on my finger. We went back to the beach and, at that point, I hoped it had fallen off where we were sitting on the beach chairs but feared it had fallen off when I was in the lagoon earlier for an hour. Luckily, I had kept to a limited area in the lagoon with some fairly good reference points so I had a good idea of the area where it might be. But as anyone here would know who has lost jewelry in the sandy bottom of the sea, it sinks into the sand. We spent an hour looking for it but had to give up. The hotel suggested contacting someone with a metal detector I found Joe on this site.

    Joe was in California when I called but due back the following afternoon. After speaking with Joe on the phone, I had a lot of confidence that he’d find it. Even though he’d been away from his home and family, Joe literally landed from his flight, went home to grab his gear, and drove through mid-afternoon traffic to reach us at the other side of the island. After I pointed out the search area, he told us to go relax on the beach. We didn’t have much time to do that as he found the ring after about 10 minutes!!

    While I am, of course, so relieved and happy to get the ring back, I was also extremely impressed by how professional, kind and awesome Joe was during the entire experience. I wanted to buy him a drink afterwards but he needed to head off to Waikiki to help another couple in need. And that pretty much sums up the guy he is. Would love to buy you a drink next time we are in Oahu, Joe!

    Mahalo nui loa,

    Steve and Christine

  • Thank you again for helping us! God bless you my friend! Mahalo!!! (2016)


    Aloha Joe!!

    My wife and I are still talking about you finding my wedding band!!! Talitha was so disappointed when I’d lost it and after searching with our hands and feet for hours the look of defeat on Talitha’s face was heart breaking. She kept saying it’s not about the monetary value, it’s more about the meaning of us becoming one in the eyes of God. Talitha was so determined to find it and even prayed about it. But we didn’t give up that easy. We saw a lady on the beach with a metal detector and I asked her if it works in the water? She advised there’s a guy who is here ever day around sunset, finds 2-3 rings a day and posts them on the net. We searched high and low for this guy for two days straight and…nothing! After searching the net we found you!

    Talitha is a strong believer that you, Joe, are an angel sent from God. We can’t thank you enough for finding my wedding band, it means the world to us! There was no mucking around with you and to find someone from the net who we barely knew to place the trust in your hands, you are so genuine and so honest…that can only be God’s work. Your services are excellent and with no time at all you found my ring. It’s so nice to be surrounded by good genuine people. We wish you all the success in the world Joe! You have only GOOD karma heading your way. Thank you again for helping us! God bless you my friend! Mahalo!!!

  • Joe came in as a saviour today (2015)


    We can’t thank enough for what Joe has done for us, today. As he correctly mentioned, the ring has a lot of sentiments tied to it.

    Joe came in as a saviour today. He also helped us in calming down and bringing in the positive vibes. I’ve recommended Joe’s services on other blogs as well.

    The local police deptt, was also very happy and thankful to Joe for finding the ring for us. A big vacation continues to be merry!

    Warm Regards,

    Sonali & Nikhil

  • My wife was feeling like she lost her world. Joe made her wish come true (2015)


    Joe was not only a miracle worker by finding my wife’s ring in the ocean he was very helpful on making sure someone else didn’t get to it before he had a chance. Joe was obviously someone you could trust and my wife heard that in his voice in her first phone call with him. The ring was replaceable in my eyes, but my wife was feeling like she lost her world. Joe made her wish come true with his hard work and great attitude. Thanks again Joe!

  • I’m still shocked that you actually found the ring! (2015)


    I’m still shocked that you actually found the ring! If it weren’t for you & Don’s huge hearts & selfless determination, I can honestly say that my fiance & I would be unable to fully appreciate our trip to Hawaii! Thank you so much for rescuing the nicest thing I’ve ever received from the bottom of the Pacific! You restored my hope when I thought it was lost & my fiance Brian and I will forever be great ful to you both! Thank you again!!!!

  • My Kids will be talking about the Super Man with the cool special metal detector (2015)


    Joe: thanks again for all your help today!! You are awesome!!!

    My Kids will be talking about the Super Man with the cool special metal detector for days!!!

    Happy mommy , happy husband , happy kids!!


  • Thank goodness for people like you!! (2015)


    It definitely did feel like an eternity i was starting to lose hope! I just searched “lost ring in sand” on Google that’s how i found this website.

    If i had gone home with no ring and just gave up without calling you it would’ve turned a beautiful sunny day really sour. Thank you so much for your kindness and your service. We will both be eternally grateful for you. I will suggest you, Joe, to anyone who falls into the same unfortunate situation.

    Thank goodness for people like you!!

    Best regards Jenna and Alex!!

  • My daughter Talia referred to you as a guardian angel (2014)


    Aloha Joe,

    I apologize for the tardy response. I am currently traveling again, this time taking my son up to college.

    I have finally had a chance to read your ring finder story. It’s written in a very warm and happy style and it could only put a smile on one’s face.

    It certainly was a pleasure meeting you. My daughter Talia referred to you as a guardian angel as you walked away. The gold crown ring will have extra meaning for us and is our newfound “lucky charm”.

    Thank you for sharing and spreading happiness and Aloha into people’s lives!


    Lisa and Talia