Joe Au-Franz

Lost Gold Family Crest Ring at Nai’a Lagoon Ko Olina Resort…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring find began Sunday when I got a call at home from Susie who was on vacation with her family from Glendora, California. While preparing to board a flight home from the Honolulu Airport Susie told me her husband Justin had lost his Father’s Gold Family Crest Ring Thursday afternoon at Nai’a Lagoon at the Ko Olina Resort. Justin was playing on the shoreline with his son throwing a ball when the ring came off, fell into the water and disappeared into the sand. He immediately searched but the soft sand swallowed the ring and wasn’t about to reveal it’s whereabouts without some metal detecting assistance. I told Susie since the day was still early I’d head back to Ko Olina and see what I could do. Justin said the location should be ankle deep water in the center one third of the lagoon. The traffic was light and I arrived at Nai’a Lagoon around 3PM. Aloha Security opened the exit gate for me so I could enter the parking area as there was a line of cars waiting to go in. I started my search at the northern side of the center third and searched out to waist deep water and several feet up the shoreline in case Justin’s ring decided to travel. About 15 minutes into the hunt I found a Titanium Wedding Band. Keep going! A moment later I found a Tungsten Wedding Band. More to post on my website in hopes of returning. I found a few coins and then in the exact center of the lagoon in knee deep water I got a screaming 13 on the Nox and in one scoop there was Justin’s ring glistening in my scoop. Wow! That ring is very unique and if I hurry I can get a text off to the family before they land in California. Barely two hours later I got a text from Susie saying, “That is it!! Awesome! It’s my husband’s birthday and that is the best news.” I mailed the ring back Monday morning and Justin had it back on his finger Wednesday afternoon. Justin sent me a personal message about the ring and his Father that put a lump in my throat and justifies the pure enjoyment I get from this hobby. Aloha to Justin and Susie!

Lost Cartier Gold & Diamonds Love Bracelet at Four Seasons Ko Olina Resort…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This bracelet find began when I returned from the mall and my wife Wendy said the phone upstairs had rung a few times but she was stuck in the kitchen prepping dinner. When I got to the answering machine their was a call from Jenny. While on vacation from California Jenny and her husband Simon were playing volleyball on the beach. While Jenny was hitting the ball her Cartier Love Bracelet came apart from a loosened screw and went flying into the sand. They found one half but after a thorough search by the entire family the other half was hopelessly hidden somewhere in the dry sand. Four Seasons Security recommended they call me. Although it was late I agreed to meet Simon and Jenny that night to recover the bracelet. When I arrived Simon met me in the parking lot and then took me down to the beach where Jenny was waiting. There was a grid pattern in the sand already marking the volleyball court so I was able to start the hunt immediately. First target was a piece of foil, then a corroded penny, then a whiskey screw top. Finally the fourth target was a #13 on the Nox and it took two scoops and 10 inches deep to recover the target. There in the scoop was Jenny’s beautiful Cartier Love Bracelet half. Vacation saved! Jenny and Simon were so appreciative that I came out so late to find her bracelet. Turns out they were originally from my home state of Pennsylvania. We had a few laughs together then bid Aloha. Aloha to Jenny & Simon!

Lost White Gold & Diamonds Engagement Ring at Nanakuli Beach Park…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring find began when I got a call from Lexi who lives in Kapolei and hails from Marietta, Georgia. After returning from the water at Nanakuli Beach Park Lexi picked up her towel to dry off and then realized she had placed her White Gold & Diamonds Engagement Ring on the towel before she entered the ocean. A thorough visual search of the dry sand area and the ring was hopelessly gone. I told Lexi I’d grab my gear and head that way but Google maps was showing a 30 minute delay due to freeway construction. She assured me she wasn’t going anywhere and that her father was in route to help her watch her baby daughter. I’ve only hunted this beach one other time years ago so Lexi waved me down from the parking lot as I drove by. When we got down to the beach she drew a box in the sand where she thought the ring would be and possibly where her current beach blanket was. I fired up the Nox and as I approached the beach blanket I got a nice #8 under the blanket. Lexi moved the blanket away and since diamonds were involved I grabbed my pinpointer and plunged it into the sand and got an immediate tone. I reached for the tip of the probe and could feel Lexi’s ring at the tip. As the ring broke the surface Lexi shouted, “That’s it! I can’t believe you found it so quick.” Nice easy search! Aloha to Lexi, Daughter and Dad!

Lost Gold Texas A&M Graduation Ring at Queen’s Beach Waikiki…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This Ring Find began when I woke up from surgery. While I was in another world my wife got a call from Chris from Dallas, Texas. After enjoying the day swimming at Waikiki Beach two days earlier, upon exiting the water Chris’ wife Sharon was having her Gold Texas A&M ring begin to slip off her finger. She removed the ring and held it tightly in her fist. When all of a sudden a powerful wave crashed into her back and knocked her down into the shore break sand. To brace her fall her fist naturally opened and the ring fell into the surf and disappeared. She was devastated! This area near the Kapahulu Pier is a favorite of the body boarders as it’s pretty much a surf pound year around. I checked for low tide and Chris agreed to meet me at the beach at 12:30 this afternoon. The surf was still pounding but Chris drew a small enough grid in the sand I thought it would be a cinch. 45 minutes later and after a dozen pull tabs and 7 bottle caps I was very frustrated. Each target was a challenge to retrieve in the surf. Who decided to pollute the beach and party here? The ring had to be here because those targets would never have been left behind by another detectorist. I expanded the grid out in both directions but no luck. I had one last option head into the rocky coral area and see what is scoop able. This was out of the grid but near enough to come into play. Sure enough a screaming 19-20 on the Nox which I thought would be a Zincoln Cent…but nope it was Sharon’s awesome ring mixed in with a scoop of coral chunks. What a relief! I yelled over to Chris, “Got it!” He came running down to retrieve the ring from the scoop before the next wave crashed into me. Chris was so surprised and grateful he gave me a bear hug and said, “Thank you so much Joe.” Hopefully Sharon & Chris can get back to enjoying their vacation. Aloha to Sharon & Chris!

Lost Sentimental Silver Necklace Queen’s Beach Waikiki…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This Sentimental Silver Necklace hunt began when I got a call Friday night from Andrew who was on vacation from Murrieta, California. Before taking a swim he took his necklace off and wrapped it in his shirt and placed it on a beach towel. Upon return he put his shirt back on and then realized he forgot his necklace. He and some young lady friends searched but the soft sand must have consumed the necklace in its entirety as it was nowhere to be found. He saw two gentlemen on the beach with metal detectors but they were committed to a dinner reservation so they said, “Call Joe”. I wish I knew who they were. Since the loss was earlier that afternoon and it was now dark I was thinking someone may have found the necklace already but I told Andrew I’d be there in a few minutes and give it a shot. Being late I was able to get parking right at Queen’s Beach which never happens. Andrew and the two young ladies were waiting for me and I had Andrew draw a box in the sand where he thought the necklace would be. First target was a piece of foil and then I got a screaming 17-18 on the Nox and in one scoop there was Andrew’s silver necklace dangling from my scoop. One of the young ladies pull the necklace gently from the scoop and handed it to Andrew. He immediately put it over his head and around his neck once again. They all were in disbelief that the necklace was found. Honestly I was very surprised myself. Thankfully this vacation has a forever happy moment. Aloha to Andrew!

Lost Gold Wedding Band at Kailua Beach…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring find began when I got a call from a lady who said her friend’s husband from Bountiful, Utah lost his wedding ring on Kailua Beach. I told her that ring finder Don lived in that area but she said he wasn’t available. The day was getting short so I told her to stay near her phone and that google maps said I could be there in 28 minutes. Sure enough when I arrived they were waiting for me on the side of the road closest to the beach access point. I was introduced to Steve and his lovely and funny wife Hope. We trekked down to the beach and Steve drew a box in the sand where he thought the ring should be. He had placed his ring on a beach chair along with some other items and when he picked up the chair to leave it must have fallen out. I started the hunt in one corner of the grid and worked towards the road. First target was a piece of foil. The next target was a booming 20 on the Nox and on the second scoop there was Steve’s Yellow Gold Wedding Band in the scoop. Someone must have stepped on it as it was several inches under the sand. Hope & Steve were elated and very thankful. Vacation saved! Aloha to Hope & Steve!

Lost Gold Wedding Band Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring find began when I got a text from fellow ring finder Dave Sheldon on Maui. Dave said a couple just lost the husband’s yellow gold wedding band in shallow water at Hilton Hawaiian Village beach and he referred them to me. A moment later I got a call from George who was on vacation from California. While tossing a football to his son in the water he realized his wedding band had come off. They had been playing awhile and he wasn’t sure when it had come off. I told George I’d grab my gear and be there in about 15 minutes. When I arrived George had me search around their lounge chairs as he wasn’t sure exactly when the ring came off. No luck there! I had George create an East & West line in the sand to create the grid. Thankfully the tide was coming down and they hadn’t gotten deeper than his chest. I started my grid search on the West end and worked East. Thankfully their weren’t many targets so I was able to cover the grid rather quickly. When I was a little bit past half way I got a nice tone on the Nox right at the waters edge and in one scoop their was George’s huge Gold Wedding band in my scoop. George ran down to retrieve his ring and he had a look of disbelief since the ring was right on the shoreline in inches of water when he thought it probably came off while throwing the football. Ring finders know the location of the ring is only known when it is found. George and his family were so thankful and that’s what makes this hobby so fun. Aloha to George!

Lost His & Hers White Gold Wedding Rings at Kaimana Beach Waikiki…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring find began when I got a call from Elijah who hails from Guam and serves in the US Army on Oahu. While Elijah & his lovely wife Bianca were getting ready to snorkel they forgot they had placed their wedding rings in the flippers and as they went to put them on they spilled out into the sandy shoreline and a wave erased them from view. They initially called ring finder Don Bryant up in Kailua but he passed it to me as I live ten minutes from Waikiki. Parking was non existent near Kaimana Beach so I parked at the zoo and walked down. Elijah met me at the entrance and then we proceeded together down to the area the rings were lost. I started the grid search but the rings weren’t in that box so I shifted the search towards the Natatorium wall thinking the minor surf might have pushed the rings that direction. Indeed a few seconds later I got a nice tone on the Nox. In the first scoop up came Bianca’s white gold diamond ring. I asked her to come out into the water to get it as I had another target on the Nox. Three scoops later I had Elijah’s white gold wedding band. Thinking I was done Bianca said there was a tiny gold ring that was also lost. I swung the Nox around and indeed there was a third target. This ring was so tiny it got pushed away from my scoop about four times before I was able to retrieve it. Okay 2021 lets start the year with a trio recovery. Elijah & Bianca were obviously thrilled to get all their rings back and were so thankful it didn’t take but a few minutes. Aloha to Bianca & Elijah!

Lost Platinum & Diamonds Engagement & Wedding Rings at Honu Lagoon Ko Olina…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring hunt began when I got an email from Bart who lives in Seattle Washington and was on vacation with his lovely wife Caroline & their son. While throwing a football in waist deep water Caroline noticed her platinum & diamonds engagement & wedding bands had come off. Bart got a mask and snorkel and searched immediately around the area Caroline was in the water. Honu Lagoon is like a washing machine during high surf times and the rings were no where to be found. Caroline found the ring finders by doing a google search for “lost ring Oahu”. I called Bart and told him we could see what the surf would be like the next day at low tide to see if a hunt was feasible. The next morning Bart sent me a pic of the lagoon and said looks pretty calm this morning. I told him I would grab my gear and head down around 11AM at low tide. When I arrived Caroline & Bart drew lines in the wet sand so I could start a grid search. I entered the water and even at low tide I was getting pushed around quite a bit. I decided to hunt parallel to shore so as to follow the sand dunes underwater which I could see clearly. It wasn’t 2 minutes later I got a strong number 6/7 on the Nox and in one scoop their was Caroline’s beautiful engagement ring in my scoop. I yelled to Bart to come out into the water to retrieve it so I could stay on the spot to recover the wedding ring as I heard another target. After Bart took the ring I scooped the second target and there was the wedding ring. Mission accomplished! I was thinking this is going to be a challenge in the high surf. Let’s just call it a New Year’s Eve blessing! Caroline & Bart were so grateful and could now leave the island this evening with all their possessions. Aloha to Caroline & Bart!

Lost Gold Cartier Love Ring at Hale Koa Waikiki…FOUND!!!

  • from O‘ahu (Hawaii, United States)


This ring find began when I got a call from Daniel who lives in Honolulu. While enjoying the day and playing volleyball on the Hale Koa beach his girlfriend Kiana lost her Gold Cartier Love ring in the water while going after a stray ball. They searched for about an hour but never found the ring. His friend told him to Google search and that’s how he found the ring finders. I told Daniel I could grab my gear and be there in 15 minutes. When I arrived Daniel introduced me to Kiana and she proceeded to show me how she lost the Love ring which was so small she actually wore it as a toe ring and felt it come off as she ran into the water. We set the grid lines and I started the search. Kiana only went five feet into the water which was waist deep. On the second leg of the grid I got a nice tone in the wet sand and in one scoop there was Kiana’s Gold Love ring. I let her reach in and retrieve the ring and then she asked if she could give me a hug. But of course! She said the ring had strong sentimental value to her and she was very thankful for the successful search. Aloha to Kiana & Daniel!