New Engagement Ring Lost in Surf – Found and Returned, Tauranga Bay, NZ
Sarah was enjoying the summer with her family at Taupo Bay, a lovely ocean beach in the north of New Zealand.
Taking her gold and diamond wedding ring off to apply sunscreen to her son before a swim, it wasn’t until she got back to where she was staying that she realised the ring was now absent.
Fortunately, I had only recently posted in the local community Facebook page trying to find the owner of a couple of silver rings located during a casual hunt there, Sarah saw this and contacted me.
I met her on site the following day and she went through the what’s and where’s surrounding the loss of her wedding ring, indicating where the group had been spread out. A scoop hole nearby didn’t bode well, but this is a game of inches and there was a good chance a casual detector had missed it.
Kids had since excavated a massive crater in the beach in the two days after Sarahs visit, and I was fully expecting to have to return here and manhandle a few hundred kilos of sand back into the hole to get to the original beach surface under the pile of sand around it…
Luck was with me today though, another dozen paces and I got a nice “dig me” tone.
The scoop went in, I emptied it across the surface, and a line of diamonds wrapped in wet sand twinkled in the early evening sun.
Sarah was overjoyed – and check out the cheesy grin on her son 🙂
Barrys wife was swimming and playing with her grand-daughter in the sea in the Bay of Islands, NZ, last night.
As she went to do a handstand she felt her precious gold and diamond ring slip off her finger and into the cloudy water.
Fabricated from her mothers jewellery, she was understandably very distraught – returning with a torch that night to search for the lost ring.
Again she tried, at sunrise this morning, she was back with a mask and snorkel – but to no avail.
Shortly afterwards, Barry found me through a web search for ring recoveries, finding lost rings and metal detectors and gave me a call.
As luck would have it, it was just approaching low tide and I was only 30min away so threw the kit in the wagon and headed out.
On arrival, I saw she was standing diligently at ‘Spot X’. I went through the backstory of how she lost the ring, state of tide, depth of water, whether she was on shingle, sand or silt underfoot etc and started to work the grid.
Starting in the water, I worked back and forth along the beach. Ploughing my way through the many trash signals, digging a few that were too close to call. Eventually I emerged onto the beach and continued up past the depth she had indicated (Assume Nothing, Believe No-One, Check Everything)
There was evidence of recent detecting with scoop holes in the water and backfilled holes on the beach, as expected at this time of year with the influx of holidaymakers, although they were unlikely to have been created in the short period between time of loss and my arrival.
Initial search area was eventually cleared with no result, I discussed the search with them and we shifted slightly to one side towards where they had come down onto the beach.
Seconds into the new area, less than a metre outside the original grid boundary(!) I caught the ring, tucked snugly into the gravel about 2-3 inches down – To an ecstatic cheer from it’s owner…and I went home to finish my lunch 🙂
Hi, my name is Tim Blank. I’m new to The Ring Finders but have been metal detecting since 2009. I am super excited for the opportunity to help find your lost belongings. I’ve been asked by a few people in the past to help find there lost rings, and its always a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces when you give back to them what they thought was lost forever! And that’s why I joined The Ring Finders.
At the start of the year, Renene was clearing undergrowth on their rural Northland property. Later on she realised that one of the many branches around the head had somehow spirited away her sentimental earring.
As so many people who lose rings or bracelets do, after a fruitless search for the lost earring they conceded defeat and accepted the loss… Until she started searching online for a metal detector to try and find her special missing gold.
We spent a few minutes on site going over her recollection of how she and her husband tried to find the lost earring, where they thought it would be, and the infamous spot ‘X’ was marked as a start point.
The vegetation was very tight, and a layer of past weedings and prunings covered most of any remaining exposed soil. I nearly took the headphones off to run on speaker the entanglements were so bad, however for such a small piece in a sea of background chatter I needed every subtle tone… I quickly cleared the ‘easy’ bits around the site, and headed out to change to a smaller coil to get in under all the shrubs when I got a new bit of intel – the path they usually took in and out.
Back onto the standard coil, and I started to grid the higher probability area of their entry/exit track.
To one side was a pile of branches which I worked hard up against, intending to leave it for a later, more detailed pass if it wasn’t found in the early searching. But since I was there, I’d clear them and close off this area now.
Heaved the pile up and swept the coil underneath, a faint whisper made my ears perk up. I put the detector down and shifted the pile.
A second pass and there was a distinct but subtle tone. Out with the pinpointer and just under the surface, on it’s edge, was the lost earring already making itself very comfortable for a long stay.
I made my way out and beckoned to Renene to come over to see her newly found earring lying where it had fallen some 10 months ago.
She was a bit pleased!
I received a call from a good friend in Georgia back in March. He tells me about his wife losing her engagement and wedding ring along a highway. He had a rented metal detector and he said it was going crazy with all the trash along the road. I was able to hear thru the phone what the detector was doing so I was able to help him with his settings to aide in his search. He eventually found the wedding band but not able to locate the engagement ring. That really bothered me cause I knew it couldn’t be far but a 9 hour drive kept me from going. Anyways, here is the story from my friend Jason from Georgia.
“Your ring is still there,” said Steve, trying to reassure me over the phone. I had given up hope. On March 3 my wife lost both her wedding band and engagement ring on the grassy shoulder of a two-lane highway in rural Georgia. I rented a metal detector and contacted my friend Steve in Ohio for advice since I knew he had experience with this sort of thing. Thanks to his guidance, I located the wedding band, but after returning three times to search with my rented equipment, I finally despaired of ever again regaining my wife’s engagement ring.
Then Steve came down to Georgia for some turkey hunting with me. Six weeks had passed since my wife lost her ring, but one afternoon on our way back from the field, he suggested that we go have another look. Even though I had little expectation that we would find the ring, I agreed.
The rough grass along the road’s edge was now twice as tall. We found plenty of buried aluminum cans and other random garbage. I felt like we were wasting time, but Steve was not dissuaded from his task. After searching for about an hour, his equipment gave him the kind of strong reading that he was hoping for. “This could be it,” he said. Something small and round was sparkling in the sunlight as the detector’s coil swept the grass to and fro. We both knew what it was.
I had spent more than twelve hours searching that highway shoulder with speeding automobiles whizzing by just a few feet from my head, without finding that elusive engagement ring. Now Steve, with his experience and advanced equipment, had located the ring in barely an hour.
That evening I surprised my wife with the ring, and her relief and elation was a thrill to behold. Thanks Steve
John was out swimming off Long Beach at Russell in the Bay of Islands, and realising he’d forgotten to leave his gold wedding band behind took it off and dropped it inside his wetsuit for security. All went to plan, until, at the end of his swim and while wading ashore he unzipped the wetsuit and folded it down. The inevitable happened, however it wasn’t until he was back at the car and out of the wetsuit he remembered the now absent ring.
He spent some time looking for his treasured gold ring in the grass in the carpark and retraced his steps up and down the beach without luck.
I came into the story three days later and made the journey over to hopefully reunite John with his lost ring.
John was up to getting wet again, so I asked him to take one of my marker floats out and drop it at his best guess for the start point.
Starting initially with a spiral search pattern in the immediate area out to 5m, I then ran parallel sweeps back into the beach in the direction of his travel back to the car – pausing to brace into the occasional larger breaking waves.
Once in the shallows, I took a short break to remove the wetsuit and switch to dry gear for the remainder of the beach, continuing the overlapping parallel sweeps back to the car – With no luck.
I always aim to run at 90-95% probability of detection, and the fact I hadn’t found it irritated me. I explained to John that the chances of missing it were slim, so there was a possibility it had fallen out on the hard sand or grass and been picked up. The search corridor marked out allowed for plenty of space either side of his track, so I was confident it wasn’t there.
John accepted the loss, we shook hands and he headed on his way home.
After packing the gear away, I grabbed a coffee from the nearby vendor and sat in the car looking at the beach with the search grid in the sand… I wasn’t happy about something, but couldn’t pin it down. I needed to have another go on the “Assume Nothing, Believe No-One and Confirm Everything” principle.
What if John hadn’t come in on the direct line he thought he had? Watching the swimmers and kids splashing around for a few minutes, I saw there was a subtle longshore drift dragging them along the beach. I decided to go back in and extend the search corridor.
Didn’t bother with the wetsuit this time, just grabbed the scoop and detector and headed back to the edge of the previous search area and started adding another 10m to it in the direction of the current.
After maybe 15 minutes, I got that solid gold ‘thud’ in the phones, and the scoop picked it up first time.
I headed back to the car and not having Johns number, phoned his wife to give the good news and ask her to get John to turn around and come back. He was a very happy chap when I dropped the ring in his hand.
John had lost his white gold wedding ring in the sea a few days before I heard of it.
At this time of year, the popular tourist beach concerned is heavily patrolled by holiday detectorists, so time was of the essence – more so as the detailed location had unfortunately been posted on Facebook.
Even though I was in the throes of a major lung infection (Thanks very much, Santa!) I had to try and recover this one as soon as possible.
I met John on the beach in the evening, he indicated the highest probability area before settling down on the sand to watch, and I set to work.
First priority was to clear the heavily trafficked area in the shallows and on the beach – these areas would almost certainly see a detector overnight.
Digging an ancient corroded iPhone suggested that no-one had searched here recently, so there was a high chance of recovery, however the beach was gaining sand with each tide and I suspected I’d need to return at the next days dawn low with the 15″ coil.
I discussed this with John, and now the tide had receded somewhat, had another go at establishing where he was in relation to the low/high water marks and thus the theoretical position he was in before I decided to go another 30 minutes through to dead low before calling it a night.
Changing the sweep pattern to perpendicular to the beach, I headed out far enough to ensure I was well overshooting the likely area in order to eliminate any ‘memory drift’ as to what depth he was in, before sweeping back into the beach.
It was on the third pass that I heard that solid, repeatable gold tone and caught the ring in the scoop on the second dig, lying on the eroding edge of an offshore sandbar – I suspect he had been standing on this sand bar, hence the perception he had been in shallow water.
Holding the ring in the classic victors thumb/forefinger pose, I turned to show John it was a happy ending, only to see the rest of the family had arrived – Perfect timing.
Happy faces all round, and a pose for the cameras before I headed home to crawl back into bed…
I called John ( From Ring Finders) at 4 pm on a Saturday August 18th and he was at Ocean City NJ 16th Street beach at 6 pm. I had lost my wedding ring in the sand while consulting with the ice cream man for a bottle of water. John found the ring within an hour! He gave me a time to meet and was absolutely punctual about the time, even called me to say he was parking. John treated the situation as if it were his own family member who had lost the ring and assured me if the ring was in the sand he would find it. What a relief! Do not hesitate to call him, he is surely the best at what he does!
Over the years, I’ve had my share of looking for rings lost while gardening, throwing things for the dog, or just being lobbed randomly during arguments. This was my first hunt for a ring that had been vacuumed off a finger by a calf!
Luke made contact after reading of my successful hunts, and for me the story was too intriguing! He had been letting the calves suck his fingers in order to keep them tame, and the hand came back minus the ring…
On the day in question, he hadn’t banked on the powerful combination of bovine slobber and suction! Catch was, had it been spat out on the ground nearby, chewed, swallowed and passed through the digestive system to turn up elsewhere in the paddock…or was it still in there?
He was very pleased to see me, and we headed straight out so he could show me where it all happened, also pointing out the calves that I could end up scanning! The ground had been dry, which was good as it meant it was unlikely to have been pressed deep into mud – however the Autumn-flush grass was mid-calf (That’s my calf, not the cow variety) which was going to make it very hard work.
I started at the “Point Last Seen” and nosed the coil in and around the grass in the immediate vicinity with no luck, so I resigned myself to gridding about an acre of very lush pasture.
With my back into the corner of the wire fences, I took the first swing, and was immediately disheartened by the erratic threshold sounds of electrical interference from a buried cable. Not overly bad fortunately. Second swing…. third swing and a golden tone rang through the headphones! I parted the long grass, couldn’t see anything. Out with the pinpointer, it chirped away…but I still couldn’t see anything.
A slight change of head angle and a flash of yellow lit up in among the dead stems. It was already making itself very comfortable in there, and I was glad I didn’t have to use the rubber gloves 🙂
Knocked on the door of the house again, and was met by a huge smile when I held the ring up – That’s when I found out, it’s their wedding anniversary in just a few days.