Small Gold Ring Lost at Moa Pt, Wellington, New Zealand

  • from Wellington (New Zealand)

From out of the ashes

Gisele had been to a bonfire party on the beach and during the night, while sitting on a log in front of the fire, she flicked her hand and lost a very small gold ring.  All her friends searched in the sand but they were unable to find it. She found out the next day that another group had moved in on their bonfire when they had left, and had shifted a lot of sand into piles to make a wind break and then covered the fire with sand when they had finished.

When my wife and I met up with Gisele she was able to show me an identical ring.  She had made both these rings herself from the gold of a friend’s mother’s ring.  They fitted on her little finger and were a very thin band with a small peridot stone mount. I have just bought a CTX 3030 and although I am very impressed with its abilities I was thinking this was going to be a difficult search.  I ran the coil over the ring’s twin and it showed a low reading, so at least I had a target reading.

Fire on the left.  Mound to the right after I had spread some of the sand out.

Fire on the left. Mound to the right after I had spread some of the sand out.

A quick scan over the area just brought up lots of trash.  As I got closer to where the fire had been the sand was full of nails and it was apparent that they had been burning old wooden pallets. I then turned my attention to the windbreak mound.  As it was about 2 feet deep I knew I had to dismantle the mound shovel by shovel to make sure it wasn’t there.  Lots of nails and melted aluminum but no gold ring.

I then did another test with the other ring to see how deep I could pick it up.  With the ring on my plastic shovel I piled about 100mm (4ins) of sand on top and barely got a reading.  This was a bit worrying as this ring could easily be deeper than that.  I was moving sand a shovel full at a time and spreading it out and rechecking with the metal detector.

Gisele and my wife helped out by sifting through the ashes in the fire, with their fingers, to remove as many nails as they could find.  I then moved on to a small pile beside where the main fire had been.  It looked like something else had been burning there and a pile of sand had been thrown over the top of it.  It was full of nails but I started to spread it out and double checking each scoop before putting another scoop on top.  More nail signals and I was just about to put another shovel full on top when a got just a small beep in the right numbers.  I couldn’t get it to repeat because there were so many nails there but I could see the cursor on the screen occasionally flick down to that area.

Blackened gold ring after I brought it to the surface with the Pro Pointer

Blackened gold ring after I brought it to the surface with the Pro Pointer

It was one of my last chances so I got the pro pointer and started removing everything that set it off.  After about eight nails I lifted a blackened ring to the surface with the end of the pro pointer.

I don’t know who was more surprised – me or Gisele, when I told her to come over and have a look. She threw her arms around me and nearly knocked me over.  This is what makes the 2 hour search all worthwhile.  Certainly the hardest successful search I have done to date.

So it looks like the other party had shoveled some sand over the fire to put it out and the ring had gone into the fire with it.  It had been blackened by the fire but didn’t appear to be damaged so I am sure Gisele will be able to clean it up and get it back to original condition.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to find this ring for Gisele – it meant a lot to her.

Gisele holding her tiny ring

Gisele holding her tiny ring

One Reply to “Small Gold Ring Lost at Moa Pt, Wellington, New Zealand”

  1. Mark Rubey says:

    Well done Al! Firepits are always a difficult search area.

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