Fathers Gold Ring Lost - and Found.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Last week, Mike was clearing out some perishables prior to heading away for a few days, throwing the bread from his deck out to the feeding frenzy of seagulls on his front lawn.
Afterwards he noticed his irreplacable gold and pounamu (Maori: NZ Jade) ring handed down from his father was missing from his finger.
A search of the lawn failed to locate it, so he turned to me for help.
Mike had to start his journey south, so he sent me the address of his property and I would travel up after work that afternoon.
On arrival, I was met with a very short and well manicured lawn – Nowhere for a large ring to hide, although rings can settle in unusual orientations, or bounce and tuck themselves under vegetation to break up the typical ‘ring’ shape that the brain doesn’t register when visually searching.
I quickly cleared the likely area where it may have landed on the lawn then started to work outwards – garden edges, against the fence and in amongst the shubs.
My concern was that a seagull may have picked it up with, or instead of bread only to drop it in a random direction and distance.
I had just about cleared the entire area in front of the house when I picked up a strong signal beside the gate at the entrance, and there it was.
Another couple of feet and it would have been on the public grass verge outside the property, another few yards and it would have been on the road…
It seems the seagull theory may indeed have been correct!
I texted Mike the good news that his ring was now safe and secure, he replied that he would collect it on his return.

I had about 30 minutes of light left so headed to the local beach where I have a couple of outstanding historical losses. Unfortunately I have many people who only learnt of my service months or even years after their loss of a precious item of jewellery on the local beaches. Whilst most are not viable for an immediate search effort, they all get added to my ‘Black Book’, and any time I am in the area I try to commit some time to searching for these. In the dynamic marine environment this is definitely a waiting game until sand and tides conspire to put the ring or necklace within range of the coil. This has taken up to 5 years for one particular ring, 3 years for another… Unfortunately sometimes they may also be found and ‘collected’ by a non ringfinder metal detectorist and added to a private collection of ‘treasure’.

The sand was silent on this occasion, although a few dozen pieces of metallic litter were removed from the environment (can pulltabs, corroded cans, bottle caps, fish hooks and an old fishing knife…Any litter found is always removed, primarily to improve the environment, but also to enhance current and future search efforts).
I was privileged though to be able to view some awesome transient ta moko sand art by an unknown and very talented artist, already partially lost to the stream flowing over the beach by the time I encountered it. It was still pleasing to see that people were consciously walking around, rather than over the design.

A week later I caught up with Mike as he made his way home. During a poorly timed torrential downpour, it was a very swift handover but I managed to get a quick photo for my collection of folks I’ve reunited with their lost taonga (Maori: treasure).

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