Mike Hall called me on a Saturday night. He was pretty frantic; the previous evening he was eating at a restaurant in north Malibu by Zuma Beach and playing with his son after dinner in the sand, and his wedding band came flying off. It was dark out, so they did a quick search, but came up empty handed. I moved some plans around and met him out there the next day, Sunday evening, after traffic died down. It still took about two & a half hours to make the 80 mile drive. I got there, and Mike and his family were nice enough to save a parking spot for me right next to the sand. I asked him to try his best to remember exactly where he was in the sand when he was playing with his son, in relation to the parking lot, trash cans, and surrounding in general. I took out my Whites Duo Field Pulse machine and started to grid the area. I was finding many trash targets like small nails and bottle caps, but after more guidance from Mike and his son, I was able to narrow down the search pattern to a strip at the back of the beach just parallel to the cars. It wasn’t long before I heard a loud repeatable signal that sounded promising. One scoop, and there was Mike’s ring. He was elated and the whole family was jumping for joy. He then shared the story of the significance of the ring’s history. The ring had been passed down for generations, from his great-grandfather, down to him. What really touched my heart, was that his young son who was there, asked his dad, “How can I get married someday, dad, if the ring isn’t there to be passed down to me?”
I got a call the day before yesterday and talked to Stephanie, who had lost her diamond engagement ring about a week ago in her backyard. She put her ring on top of the windowsill and the kids were running in and out of the sliding glass door. When she shut the door to stop the kids from running, the door shattered and glass was everywhere, and the ring fell off. As she was cleaning up the glass, she realized the ring was gone and got ahold of me through RingFinders. I went out yesterday and metal detected but there was a lot of trash in the grass, like bottles and caps so it was hard to find a signal. I looked for about two hours. Before I gave up, I checked the windowsill where I didn’t get any signals with the metal detector. I started to rake out the grass and dirt in that area, and shoveled that material onto a sifting screen and that’s when I found the ring. She was ecstatic to get her diamond ring back.
I was finishing up a search searching for someone’s lost jewelry this Sunday and I was approached by someone that said, “Can you please help us? My friend just lost his platinum wedding band”. I walked over and met Paul. He just told me that he was playing in the sand with his family and lost his platinum wedding band and that his wife was going to kill him. I swung the coil a few times in the area that he showed me and surprise! Within a minute it was in my scoop. He said, “you did that like it was nothing!” I said, “Finding it quickly was the easy part, the 30 years of practice was the hard part”. I made sure Paul was on the way home to his wife and ensure he would not be in the doghouse tonight.
I was metal detecting on Sunday morning with a friend at Huntington Beach at about 5:00 in the morning and took a break at 11:00 to get a snack. I saw that I had a few missed calls, so I checked my voice mails and called back. Veronica answered the phone, and told me that her mom Anna, had lost her diamond ring the day before at Nicholas Beach, about 80 miles away just north of Zuma Beach. Five minutes later, I was on my way. Once I got off the 10 freeway in Santa Monica over an hour later, I hit Pacific Coast Highway. Sunday beach traffic was quite challenging. An hour later I met up with Veronica. I followed her down to the beach and met Anna and her husband. What a nice couple! They showed me where they put the ring into a chair pocket the day before, and thought it was lost in that area in the sand. I worked the grid pattern and worked with the detector down to the water’s edge, but no signals. I hoped that the previous night’s high tide hadn’t bur ied the ring or swept it out to sea. I asked Anna to retrace her steps when she left in a hurry because the high tide was coming in and covered most of the beach with waves. I worked the detector in between the rocks and got some large iron signals. Then I went over her husband’s matching ring to see the sound it was creating. I detected a few more minutes between the beach and the stairs and I got a crisp, loud signal. I said, “this sounds promising!” The next thing I knew, the ring was in my scoop. I handed it to her husband and he handed it to Anna, who was overwhelmed with joy. They had been happily married over 20 years and her ring was custom made, so it was extremely sentimental. It was a 3 hour drive home in Sunday beach traffic, but the looks of happiness and gratitude on their faces made it all worthwhile. It was a pleasure to help such a great family.
On Thursday late afternoon I got a call from a woman named Lauren who lost her ring on Monday in South Laguna Beach who was spending time with her family by the fire pits. Because it was a few days later, she did not think there was a chance that her diamond engagement ring could be found. She asked me if there was any chance, and I told her there was always a chance. I drove down to the beach at around 4:30 am to get there early, so that the tides would be right and not too high up on the beach. I swung my coil a few times and after digging a few nails near the fire pits, I heard a solid signal, dug it up, and there was her beautiful diamond ring. Lauren and her family got to the beach about half an hour later and she was ecstatic to see that I had actually found her ring. She thought it’d be like finding a needle in a haystack since the surf from the previous days had covered the fire pits where she had lost her ring. She hugged her husband and kids and was very happy to be reunited with her ring. Shortly after I was back on the road, hoping to beat traffic to head to work.
Mike lost about 60-70% in a fire in Glendale, CA a couple months ago. He got ahold of me through the RingFinders website and chose me due to my fire recovery experience from many previous fires. I pulled up to a large two story house up in the mountains. Once he showed me where his mother’s closet was, where a lot of the jewelry had been stored, it seemed like the majority of the second story and the roof had collapsed onto the first story. So I made a grid of the area, set up sifting screens, and methodically started to shovel material into the screens from one corner of the house to the other. After a short amount of time I began to find glass crystals which were remnants from a large chandelier, and many other artifacts that the family had from previous generations. After a couple hours of digging, I recovered a small, melted box that held many pieces of jewelry including a beautiful large, white gold cross covered with stones. After a little more searching, I made the plan to come back another day during daylight. About three weeks later after the heavy rain had died down, I returned to the site. Hesitant to climb a ladder to the second story, with a rickety burnt out floor and no roof, I started the same process on the second floor for other lost jewelry from a bedroom bureau. Right away I began to find earrings, charms, medallions, and many charred coins. I couldn’t find everything they had lost in the fire, but recovered everything that I could, that I could safely get to. Mike was very happy to call his wife and mother to tell them about the recovered jewelry that they believed was lost forever. They are looking forward to rebuilding their lives in a newly modeled home.
A few days ago I received a call from a high school student named Nick. His father passed away just under 6 months ago, and his mom gave him his father’s ring. He was really distraught, Nick called me asking if I could come over after he got out of school. I went to meet him the next day. His friends were throwing a football in the front yard and that’s when the ring got lost. The whole yard was covered in bushes and tall leaves, making it difficult to find the ring. I used my metal detector to search for a signal, but there was a lot of dirt so I had to rake it up and sift it through my sifting screen. After about an hour I got a weak signal from one of the big leafy bushes near the front and moved the leaves out of the way to get a better visual. There was the ring, sitting there with a big Rolex symbol on it. I was very happy to return the sentimental ring to the young high school boy, who was happy to have a piece of his father with him forever.
Monday December 26
On Christmas day, I received an email from a hopeful mother, Diane whose daughter just received a promise ring right before Christmas. Her daughter Summer was devastated, and wasn’t sure whether or not to break the terrible news to her boyfriend, to go buy a metal detector and search for herself, or what the next step should be. Diane and I came into contact and although I was unable to make it Sunday night, I made the drive early Monday morning. Luckily, it was nearby and only 6 miles up the hill in Claremont, Horse Country. Summer didn’t know where the ring could be, but she narrowed it down to either being in the stall while cleaning her horses, or outside where she was photographing her new prized possession. I worried that one of the horses may have kicked the ring and we wouldn’t be able to find it. Since the ring is white gold, it is harder for the metal detector to pick up any signals. While searching in the stalls, the friendly horses nudged and kissed me, as they curiously watched the pursuit for the ring. After turning up the sensitivity, I soon heard a faint signal. I scooped up a pile of hay, and there in the screen was Summer’s ring. She was overjoyed to see her ring once again, and I suppose Christmas came twice for her this year. I was glad to have made someone’s day, and was on my way.
Saturday October 22, 2016
I received a phone call from someone named Dan who was visiting on vacation from Utah with his family. They were in south Corona Del Mar, and lost his titanium ring in the sand. After a long conversation, I found out the ring was lost far up on the sand, away from the water. It was higher up than the next oncoming high tide, so I knew it was safe and would still be there in the morning. The location was secluded. I spoke to him and asked him to mark the area with some smaller logs that were nearby. I went down to meet him Sunday morning at about 9:00 am and took about a five minute walk from the main beach. He showed me the area where he thought he lost it, and lo and behold, I heard a long RING, and the ring was in the first target that I dug. He was amazed at the speediness of the recovery of the ring and was very grateful. He called his wife and kids right away to inform them of the good news, thanked me, and was on his way. I had a very gratifying ride home and the happiness of finding a ring made the ride home a lot shorter.
Thursday October 20, 2016
Garrett called me from Santa Monica, who lost his large white gold wedding band when playing volleyball with a group of friends. I needed to wait for traffic to die down and went up to meet him, and arrived at the beach about 8:00 pm. I met him by the pier and walked with him to the volleyball courts. After speaking with him earlier in the day, I asked him to map out the general areas where the ring could’ve fell off. After about 15 minutes, my metal detector let out a loud RING. I took two scoops down, and found the ring right next to the volleyball court. He was thrilled to see the sentimental ring for him and his wife, who both shared the same dentist. He was a mutual friend who insisted on making the ring himself for the couple. Once again, it was a nice long drive back from the coast. It felt great to reunite the ring with its rightful owner.