I’ve been doing ring finding for long enough that some of the searches now elude my memory but some of them stick out … this search will definitely fall in the latter. I received the call via a referral from another RingFinder who was further away .. the important thing is to recover the ring asap so we work together towards that end. As it turned out the owner was not able to meet at the spot for a couple days so I decided to give it a good shot from the directions I received over the phone, far less than ideal but the best I had to work with and I had the time. She had lost a simple, sterling silver band w/inscription but the sentimental value is what is always really missed. This particular beach is difficult and time-consuming to search because they allow bonfires there and there is an unlimited amount of melted aluminum cans and foil bits. Two and a half hours turned up a handful of change and a lot of trash but no ring so we set up to meet at the spot in the morning a couple days later. I showed up as early as possible to extend my search area outwards till either the ring or the owner showed up. An hour and a half later I was starting to anticipate where the ring might be if not there when I received another signal that “looked” like a quarter. I was not expecting to see the smooth, shiny silver edge of the ring catch the sun when I cleared the sand down about 6″ deep but when I did I felt a bigger sense of relief and accomplishment than I ordinarily do for some reason? When the owner arrived it was an especially emotional reunion with her lost heirloom when I placed it in her palm. I could definitely feel there was something extra special about this particular ring but I did not ask. I only felt honored and extremely happy to be trusted to help and be a part of something so special, that is all the reward you could ever want. Upon arriving home I had received an email from the owner’s husband thanking me emphatically for helping to recover the ring and ended up also making a donation in my family’s name to the fight against epilepsy which affects us personally. I was touched beyond words. I’m moving soon and will be ending my ring finding here in Santa Cruz but I can honestly say it has changed my life, thank you Chris Turner for starting this incredible organization. If this is the last search I do here it would be fitting as it was possibly the most special. Thank you Chris Turner. Keeping promises. peace
This past Labor Day weekend was one for the record books literally. Living in Santa Cruz you’re not prepared to deal with solid, 105+ degree temps very well so it was fortuitous when I received the call that a wedding band had been lost in midtown Santa Cruz … at least the breeze from driving there would help. Upon arriving it was clear what group on the crowded beach was involved in the hunt … all eyes were on the guy with the detector. The owner and his party had done everything correct, although the temptation to start searching and digging is strong they had just cleared the area out where they believed the ring had been lost and waited for my arrival. A simple miscommunication had led to the ring’s loss and I could hear it weighing on them in their voices. I wanted very badly to help change their tones. If the information was all correct then this one appeared to be a pretty certain slam dunk but experience has made me realize it’s not over until the owner has the ring in hand. Even though I was apparently looking at good odds of recovery, it was obvious that many more than just the owners party were watching intently to see how the drama would unfold .. a little unnerving but I put it out of my head and started the search. Although I didn’t set a personal record on this day it was close. No more than several minutes into the search my machine picked up a possibly likely signal. When I looked down I could see a very small, silver glint of white gold poking out from the sand. When I asked the owners wife to come take a look I pointed it out. She hesitated momentarily to process what she was seeing then quickly snatched it out of the sand victoriously … a classic response and one I never get tired of witnessing. Instant hero status :), cheers, hugs and super nice, happy people .. it had turned into a very pleasant day for sure. There was also a nice breeze blowing. peace
I was going off what I deemed to be solid, reliable information to locate the precise area of the loss on a large beach and … 3+ hours into the search I was questioning that wisdom. This particular beach is subject to heavy sand movement on south swells and since we had just had a solid south swell recently the sand was newly deposited and free of almost any trash. This made for relatively quick hunting but after scouring approx. 8,000 sq.ft. it was time to make the hard call and drive home. Although I had thoroughly searched what I believed to be the right area and then some, that intuitive, nagging doubt still lingered … what if? maybe? Possible wishful thinking aside I was hoping for another crack at it. After communicating the details that evening we agreed to meet in person the next morning to confirm I had been in the right spot or whether I should take another shot elsewhere. I was going early at sunrise to extend my search and meet the owner there later in the a.m. I decided to bring my friend and able digger G along for good luck and entertainment. I extended my search area only to the South, figuring the highest probability of the ring’s location would be in that direction if it was there at all. After almost absolutely no signals for 45 minutes I finally picked up a solid signal and 1-2″ down was the lost ring. Pretty excited about the turn of events I called over to G to show her the find but, being inedible, she was unimpressed. Personally I was a little impressed we had located it, the ring was easily 60′ from my calculated starting point .. that’s light years in detecting. More evidence to support always meeting in person at the loss site, it’s the best investment for a successful search that can be made.
Highlight of this recovery. The owner and her husbands 6th anniversary is this weekend !!
I received a call from the couple on Saturday evening that her wedding set, two platinum rings with diamonds, had been lost at Rio Del Mar beach that afternoon. After talking over the circumstances we scheduled to meet at the beach at first light the following morning. It is an all too common story .. the rings had been put in the cup holder ( otherwise known as “ring ejectors”) of her beach chair while she applied sunscreen, forgot about and then lost when the chair was folded up. I’ve been on numerous searches from the exact same occurrence so don’t feel bad if it happens to you.
I met Ryan the following morning and he took me to the spot where they had been the day before. He and his son had searched for hours themselves but they also did a good job of noting landmarks to help put me as close as possible to their location .. this is an invaluable part of a successful search. I got to work knowing that these rings would “look” like small pieces of foil to my machine so I would have to be extra thorough and meticulous in my method as it’s easy to miss targets like these if you get sloppy or lose focus.
Luckily the beach was not too trashy and after about 10 minutes several pieces of foil I got a broken signal that sound to me like a piece of crumpled foil, my guess and hope was that this would be the platinum engagement ring with the solitaire diamond .. about 3″ down my suspicions were verified when I hand picked the beautiful engagement ring from the sand’s clutches. Handing it over to a tearful owner I had to remember that the job was only half finished and there was no time to celebrate .. yet. Figuring the other ring should be very close I set my coil down and swept over a couple more feet when I received a little more solid signal which I was anticipating and hoping would be the diamond encircled wedding band. Knowing again that there were stones on this ring I hand picked down into the sand and about 4″ down pulled out the platinum wedding band and handed that straight to the owner as well. The look on her face is why we do this .. that feeling and reward is so profound and deep that you never forget it. After multiple thank you’s, hugs and tears they told me what a great day it was for them. I met some wonderful people and had a great day as well. Peace.
Two of the three happiest people on the beach ..
The beautiful, elusive creatures ..
All that’s valuable is not always jewelry, precious metals and gems. Sometime’s it’s the mundane yet essential items that can really throw us off when they go missing. Take the car key. I received the call from the owner who had lost her car key while doing a morning workout. I happened to be out detecting already a couple beaches over so I was on scene in about 15 minutes. The car to the missing key was just being opened by AAA when I arrived so there was just one piece left to the puzzle .. find the key. The owner and her friends had marked off a circular area roughly 20′ in diameter. This was a manageable sized area and If the key was in there I knew it was definitely findable. Once in the circle things changed. I didn’t have the detector I normally would have as I didn’t have time to retrieve it. I was using the machine I was already using earlier and now it was making things a lot harder. There had been many fires on this beach and small pieces of rusty nails saturated the sand. They were all sounding like possible targets to this particular machine and I had to check every one ! This could potentially turn the hunt into a painfully long grind but that’s right when luck turned again
The Happy Driver
. I scooped the sand to check a signal when the unmistakeable black plastic end of a car key appeared .. looking very new and recently deposited. As I was pulling it from the sand I heard a scream of joy and smiled. The car and the key are back together.
Ryan had lost his white gold wedding band playing in the surf. He had already given it up for gone when he contacted me .. I was not so convinced. I rolled into the beach an hour before dawn to take advantage of the time and tides. Lightning fired in the distance and thunder was rolling as I set my starting point and began my search. The ring could be laying anywhere in a good sized area including the water so I would have to be systematic and thorough and I was going to have to keep my focus above all
if I was going to find it before the tide came back in too high. My grid search was taking me in and out of the water and shore break. Hunting in the surf is magnitudes harder than in the dry sand and covering every inch thoroughly is next to impossible but you have to try your best and stay focused.
After about an hour I came across a target .. it didn’t exactly match what I expected but I was going to dig everything so after two scoops it was out of the ground. I saw an edge glint silver in the early morning light. Not knowing the ring was white gold, I reached down for what I thought was probably a quarter but when my finger went through it and I felt it’s weight I knew it was the ring .. the detecting gods cracked thunder in approval as I left the beach to return the ring to it’s owner.
I received the call while I was at work. The owner had just lost her wedding ring on the beach and was understandably very anxious to get it back. I tried to calm her nerves and explain what would take place before and during a search. We realized the search would have to wait until the following morning. The next day also happened to be her 10th wedding anniversary and I wanted very badly to make it one they would always remember. Since she would be unable to meet me at the site I instructed her to dig a large hole near the location (but not too close!) and to text me some reference photos of the spot to give me some background landmarks to help me discern the likely area of the ring for the search the next day. The owner did this to perfection (she had a crew of eager kids helping and they did a great job!) and provided me with some invaluable information to help make a successful recovery. After doing quite a few of these searches I was feeling pretty good about the odds of a recovery. The information I had received was very good quality and I had every reason to believe the ring was laying hidden near where the owner thought it was. With all of this I told the owner that, in my opinion, we had a very good chance of success but I couldn’t make any guarantees because the unforeseen “wild card” could always come into play and change everything.
I arrived at the beach at first light eager and confident but when I pulled up my worst fears were realized when I saw the infamous “wild card” directly in front of me. There, very near to the spot was a large tractor scooping and pushing sand across the beach! I ran out and flagged the operator down. After explaining the situation he obliged and headed towards the ocean and away from the search area. I shudder to think of what the outcome would have been had I arrived even a little later. Once the adrenaline had subsided I got out my phone and zeroed in on the likely spot using the photos I had to triangulate the ring’s hiding spot as best I could. The ring was platinum with diamonds encircling it which would mean it would probably be a very low and broken signal, I was going to have to check every single signal I got, no matter how small. With my discrimination setting at zero I proceeded to hunt very slowly and meticulously. Bits of foil and random pieces of metal garbage were everywhere but I had to check and retrieve them all. The ring, with it’s material and construction could “look” like any of these to my machine. 30-40 minutes in I was beginning to wonder if the ring, with it’s faint signal, may have been pushed too deep for the the coil I was using to “see”. I decided to search for awhile longer before putting on a deeper-searching coil which I had brought along for just this possibility. A couple minutes later I received a decent signal but not exactly what I was expecting from the ring. I wanted so badly to be able to give the owner good news that I asked the detecting gods to smile upon me as I brushed at the sand. There, down about 3″ was the beautiful ring sitting edge up ! The detecting gods were indeed smiling brightly upon all of us today. A happy anniversary for the couple and an awesome day for me 🙂
The call came in from a young lady who was in town visiting and had been down at the boardwalk beach. She had taken off her necklace, forgot about it then had inadvertently flung it into the sand when she shook off her towel . . an all too familiar story. When I first spoke with Rachel she had a wonderful attitude, she had basically already given the necklace/pendant up as lost to the universe and had concluded that it “was meant to be”. I on the other hand was not content to accept that. I was going to do my best to force the universe to return the necklace back to where it belonged. On a brisk, foggy morning after meeting up at the location I began my search in what we deemed the likely area of the item. Several minutes into the search Rachel called me over to another spot about 15-20 feet away. She had found a small item of theirs from the day before (a towel tag) that was stuck in the sand, indicating the spot where she had been with her friend. Relocating, I resumed the hunt and received a very faint signal after a short time. This was a signal that I would never dig on a pleasure hunt but this was a search and you check every signal. Also, she had shown me a photo of the piece so I knew the signal would probably not stand out very well. The machine was saying “foil” which was exactly what I was expecting, looking down I could actually faintly see some of the fine gold links of the chain barely breaking the surface of the sand. I pointed this out to Rachel who reached down and pulled the necklace/pendant from the sand and out of the universe’s fickle grip. The huge smile on her face made my day and is the best reward you could ever hope for. This was the most beautiful and interesting piece I’ve recovered yet. It was a gold and silver wire wrapped, hand-carved tourmaline flower pendant on a fine gold chain. The best thing about making recoveries is the rewarding feeling you get from helping people and their immense gratitude. Hand in hand with that comes the great experience of meeting some awesome people along the way.
The owner had lost her wedding ring but was not entirely sure if it had been at her home or not. This is an immediate red flag as it brings the biggest variable into play i.e. “is this even the right spot?” After going over all the details I determined that the ring had almost certainly been lost on the premises somewhere but whether that was in a spot where my equipment would be able to find it was the big question. While the actual search is when you find lost items and gets all the glory the pre-search work is actually the most important part in the equation and is what really determines the odds for success. The owner did a great job of describing where she had been and what she had been doing so my job was now to take that information, combine it with my previous experience and determine the overall strategy for the hunt. The overriding priority and the reason we all do this is to assist anyone in need of the help only a detectorist can provide. We all crave that moment of complete joy when an item is rescued and returned to the owner, there’s nothing like it.
I formulated my plan. I would start in what, in my opinion would be the highest probability area and work out from there. The first area was obviously going to be problematic. There was a drip irrigation system with multiple metal couplings and pieces that would pretty much mimic the same signal as, you guessed it, a gold ring. There was also the usual peripheral interference coming from adjacent metal in walkways, foundations etc but I had installed my “sniper” coil to try and “see” around all the clutter. Several minutes and one bottle cap into the search the preliminary work paid off big time. I pulled a clean signal from the chatter, scraped away the dirt and out popped a beautiful diamond about 2″ down. Whether I’ve gotten better or luckier is anyone’s guess, I prefer to believe the former 🙂 Just as a disclaimer, after my last successful recovery I had an unsuccessful attempt so they don’t all turn out. This one did, the ring’s going home and there are at least three people having a great day. Peace.