Coopers Beach Tag | The Ring Finders

Two Rings Lost at Taipa Beach, Recovered and Returned Within Minutes

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

A very quick recovery a little while ago…

Kaiah gave me a call asking if I was able to locate her two sentimental rings she had lost at Taipa, she was about to head out of the district and was very anxious to recover them before she left.
Having put them in her cap for safe keeping while she went for a swim, she subsequently forgot about them on her return and grabbed the hat with the rings still inside and headed back to the car.
She met me on site and showed me where she thought they might be and I started the search, retracing her route back towards the car.

As I expanded the search area I quickly located one ring, then the other a few metres away.


Opal Necklace and Ring Both Found in Surf at Taupo Bay

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

While on holiday at Taupo Bay, Kelsie did what so many do – she threaded her ring onto her necklace for safekeeping.
Wading back in in through the surf, she undid the clasp to put the ring on her finger, and promptly dropped everything; The opal ring, the opal pendant and the chain.

The water was shallow, but the wash instantly claimed all three and in one swirl of water they slid into the sand and out of sight. Lost.
Her friend put a post on the local community noticeboard the next day asking for help and several locals suggested that she contact me.

I went out straight after work, large swells were forecast and time was of the essence on this active surf beach.

The surf was already building rapidly, occasional 2-3m breakers offshore were producing a powerful surge running up and onto the beach.
Some locals set up a line of beach chairs and settled in to watch what I refer to as “The worlds most boring spectator sport”.
A couple of minutes into the search a powerful surge came in, instantly wrapping a large ball of seaweed around the detector shaft and, before I could react – snapped the metal shaft!

Fortunately I also had my other water machine in the car, although the smaller coil would mean more swings and with the iron sand present it would be unlikely to locate the fine chain. The ring and pendant were the critical pieces though.

I started the grid, focusing on the water first. Closing off this search area, I then moved inshore where the wash had now subsided and more beach had been exposed.
Before long, a silver and opal ring was extracted from about 15cm down in amongst the iron sand.
I had a solid start point, and in quick order an opal pendant followed.

Now to try for the chain…

I would be on the back foot looking for a delicate chain in these conditions, so with the machine wound right open I started to conduct an intensive grid in the area. Regrettably, I was unable to hear the chain in the chatter from the iron sand.

The two important key pieces had been recovered though, much to Kelsies relief.


Gold Signet Ring Lost on Tokerau Beach, Quickly Found

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Diane phoned me yesterday, her son had just lost his ring in the sea at Tokerau Beach in Doubtless Bay, NZ.
Fortunately it was at high tide, and the water was only a metre deep when lost.

I arrived a few hours later for low tide. Diane and Dan were there to meet me and we went through the usual twenty questions.
Diane told me that she had paced out to roughly where the ring had been lost – Textbook stuff to help your neighbourhood Ringfinder.

Both of them marked their respective “X” in the sand where they thought it might be and I started the search pattern, half an eye on the motorbikes and four-wheel drives roaring past (Tokerau Beach is classed as public highway, it’s supposed to be limited to 30km/h, but…).

It was nice to be out of surf and on nice open, flat, hard sand for the first time in a long while.

After about a dozen lines, I got a solid tone – could only be one thing.

It was about 5cm down – Dan’s face lit up as I showed it to him.

… Mums mark in the sand was the closest 🙂


Gold Ring Lost at Cable Bay, NZ. Recovered Quickly by Experienced Ring Finder

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

MyJanne contacted me one evening a couple of days ago, she had been swimming in Doubtless Bay, NZ earlier in the day and had lost her gold ring in the water.

Fortunately, she contacted me straight away and I was able to be on site after work the following day to catch the falling tide.

The sea had picked up quite a bit since she lost the ring and I could see a lot of sand being moved in the shallows, there was potential for the ring to go deep in conditions like this. Time was of the essence if it was in this mobile soup of broken shell fragments.

MyJanne arrived shortly after and indicated out in the water where she thought the ring might be, I kitted up and waded out.
The initial area was a blank with only the occasional skeletal remnant of a long lost toy car or old decimal coin.
The grid was therefore opened up to go wider and further out into deeper water.

After about 90 minutes, I got a clean tone. Second scoop captured it and there, in with the seaweed and shell, was Myjannes lost ring.
MyJannes prompt call to an experienced ringfinder with a proven track record on water recoveries meant she had the very best chances of getting her ring back.

Lost Ring at Tokerau, Found in the sea

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Back up to Tokerau Beach, NZ, for a wedding ring in the tide this time.
Nathan was playing with his daughter in waist deep water, throwing her up and catching her.
As he released her, he saw his wedding ring come off and drop into the water. They searched for some time before accepting the ring was lost.
Back on shore, Nathan took a bearing and paced out an approximate distance to where he thought it was- then gave me a call.
I arrived for the evening low tide, waded out and got to work to find his lost wedding ring.
The sand leveled out below low tide mark, so “waist deep” went out about 50m or so – A huge potential area.
I had searched the indicated area by the time failing light and tide forced me out. Regrettably I advised Nathan that I had been unsuccessful, with nothing more than a handful of lead sinkers and rusty hooks in the pouch.
But I don’t walk away easily…
Up at 4am, I was back in the tide just after 5 – sharing the shallows with the dorsal fins of a dozen Rig sharks, focused on their own search for crabs as the night gave way to dawn.
I reviewed the search area of the previous day and decided that I was generally happy that had the ring been there, I would have likely found it.
I decided to extend the search area.
After about 2Hrs using various search patterns, I got a distinct ‘double thump’ of a shallow target, some 20m from the original area.
I lifted the scoop, sifted the sand out in the water and heard that ‘jangle’ that tells me – Job Done.
I think I woke Nathan up when I phoned him, “I’ve got something of yours here…”
It didn’t take him long to get down to the beach!
If you lose an item at the beach, make a note of where you are. Line up two landmarks, even better, line up another two at right angles to the first. Then give me a call, and I’ll do my utmost to get it back to you.

Lost Gold Bangle at Tokerau, Found with Metal Detector

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Cayla was enjoying the summer playing with her young daughter in the shallows at Tokerau Beach,  soon realising that the special gold bangle had slipped off her toddlers wrist.

Her partner did all the right things by marking above the high tide mark where they were on the beach and called me straight away, time is always against us with ocean recoveries…

As soon as I got his message I gave my apologies to family, loaded the kit in the car and headed off on the 90km drive to Doubtless Bay.

We arrived at the beach only to find that out of the available 13km of beach, a family had parked a half dozen utes right on top of ground zero. Cayla persuaded them to relocate one of them in a prime area so I could search.

A few false starts with beer can pull tabs and a couple of longline fishing traces (removing several hooks out of the sand in the process) and I had reached the utes.

I changed the direction of the grid to start working parallel to the vehicles to maximise coverage before we needed to ask a little firmer if they wouldn’t mind shuffling along a bit.  On the first run at the outer line of the first pattern, I got a clear and shallow signal.

My fingers dipped into the wet sand and lifted the tiniest most delicate gold bracelet.

I turned and held it up to Cayla and Scott who were a few metres away, smiles all round.


Kaikohe Wedding Ring Lost Over Edge. Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Yesterday, Moana was tidying up her vege planter and throwing the weeds over the edge of the bank in Kaikohe, when she heard and felt a clash of rings on her throwing hand.
Checking, she realised that she had just lost her mums precious gold wedding ring over the steep bank and into the Kikuyu.
Someone loaned her a cheap detector, however without decent equipment and experience in recoveries the odds were stacked against her.

She didn’t locate it.

I got a call last night asking if I was able to help, and this afternoon I was shown the scene, not the toughest job I’ve had, but would have been in the top 10 – I certainly had my work cut out on this one.
Looking for a tiny ring in knee-deep Kikuyu on a slope that ranged from steep, to having to hang onto handfuls of grass to stop sliding away had potential to be a long hard battle.
90 minutes later though, I was knocking on the door with the gold ring in my hand.
The reactions I get are always worth far more to me than gold.

If you’ve lost a ring in the garden or even a paddock, maybe you’ve hired a metal detector or a friend has had a go without luck and you’ve given it up as lost – give me a call !
I’ll do my best to put that ring back on your finger and a smile back on your face!

Important Key Lost in House – Found by Intensive Search

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Kim phoned me on behalf of a friend asking if I was able to do a house search for an important key.
I generally don’t do domestic searches for lost items purely because they can be. by necessity, very intrusive into peoples ‘space’.

Whilst conventional metal detectors are ineffective inside houses, I have a range of small coils, pinpointers and remote cameras to aid a physical search.

Kim explained the circumstances: Her elderly friend had lent their car to another elderly friend – who had misplaced the key.
It could have been anywhere from the car to inside the house, maybe in a wood shed…or, who knows?

Knowing the significant expense and hassle involved in an insurance claim, especially for an 80-something year old, I agreed.
Though it was over 100km away, the travel would largely be covered by a Pay-It-Forward recovery I had done recently.

I arrived the following morning and met with Jan, she was most apologetic as we went through retracing her steps as best we could, and I explained how I would be conducting the search.
Starting with the car, the last known point where she would have had the key, I began the systematic and meticulous elimination of areas.
With the car and driveway cleared, the search progressed up onto the deck and then into the house.

From here it was a matter of examining everything Jan had, or had potentially interacted with the previous day. On, in, under, beside, behind…

An hour later, in the bottom of a box of assorted dog leashes, treats and toys etc. a shape caught my eye.

I held up a key, ” This it?”

Lost Kerikeri Ring Found in Car

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Karen contacted me this afternoon asking if I was able to find a very sentimental silver ring that had ‘Just disappeared’ inside her car.

She remembered taking her ring off in the car to place it in the centre console before going to work, but when she went to put it on at the end of the day, it had ‘disappeared’.

She had searched the whole car to no avail, and in desperation phoned me to see if I could help.

I offered some likely places to look, but she had already tried those.

A few hours later, I was firing up the Ferret remote camera to search those sneaky areas inside the car that humans are unable to reach…

Late into the evening, the ring was spotted – tangled in the carseat rails.

Unfortunately the ring had been crushed by the seat moving in the rails, but at least it is salvageable.

A bittersweet victory, she had her precious ring back and is going to make an appointment with a jeweller to restore it to its former glory.

Tiny Gold Ear Ring Found in Sand at Cable Bay.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Danielle contacted me after losing her tiny gold and diamond earring at Little Cable Bay, between Mangonui and Taipa.
She had spent some considerable time looking for it, but in the dry sand a tiny earring that blended in perfectly would have been virtually invisible to the eye.
I wasn’t able to get away from work for a few hours, but in this instance it worked out well with the tides.
She had sent me a photo which showed some trees lined up as a reference, so I could make a start as soon as I got there.
It didn’t take long to locate myself in the right spot and I started work, a very tedious process with a lot of interference from metallic rubbish that saturated the dry sands above the high tide line.
Danielle arrived soon after and was able to give me her best guess as to where it might be.
With a high probability location now identified, I changed up a few settings and started listening for the tiniest wisp of gold in among all the can tabs and flakes of tinfoil.
It was hard mentally processing each individual signal, digging the probable signals and flagging the unlikely, but possibles to revisit later if necessary.
About 10 minutes in, with the coil running under the surface of the loose and fluid dry sand, I got a repeatable signal only just audible over nearby rubbish.
I ran my hand through the sand, nothing was seen and the pinpointer didn’t pick it up, but I had moved the target. Was it yet another tiniest fragment of ancient drink can?
Slowly I progressively eliminated ever smaller piles of sand until there was one small heap left.
I grabbed it and slowly opened out my hand, scrutinising the grains as they fell through the slightest gap between my fingers, until resting in my palm was the distinctive shape of an earring.
Danielles eyes lit up when she realised her precious lost earring had been found in amongst several trillion grains of sand.