Kerikeri Tag | The Ring Finders

Gold Ring Found in Doubtless Bay Chicken Coop

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

I was recommended to Kim and Kevin after Kevin had lost his Great Grandfathers ring, passed down to the eldest son through the generations. His father sadly passed away recently and Kevin became the new custodian.  Understandably, the ring carries a huge sentimental attachment.
Kevin wasn’t sure where, or when, he had lost it.
He just knew that it wasn’t beside the sink after he’d finished washing his hands after working in the garden that morning.
He had a few sleepless nights before the day of the search!

On site, I retraced Kevins activities. I made note of each area of interest and ranked them as to the likelihood of holding the ring as we wandered around the property.
There were three probable areas, but I had brought the remote camera with me, just in case it got all forensic with nooks and crannies (Or “Crooks and Nannies” as I like to call them).

First up was the garden where he had been planting seedlings and weeding. Lots of wisps of wire and assorted metal with the big coil, I switched to the small handheld coil.
This was better in among the random signals, but slow going to ensure every coil sweep was overlapped to avoid missing a single square inch.

Then I headed down to the chicken run where he had spread some hay out.
Several problems were encountered in here; The abundance of metal chicken mesh in close quarters, the fact that every time I stopped to investigate a target under the hay at least one chicken adopted me as a fancy perch with foot-warming function… and, let’s just say I was glad I was wearing disposable gloves as well!

Despite the assistance in removing various invertebrates, the chickens and I did not locate the ring in the run.Spotting fresh straw had also been placed in the nest boxes, I moved outside – thankful to be vertical and chicken-free.
I worked my way through each of the nest boxes, when my fingers closed on a heavy, round ring buried under the sawdust.

I left it under the watchful gaze of the chooks, while I took my gear back to the car then called out to Kevin.
“I’ve got something of yours!”,  and led him and his wife to the chicken run.

I opened up the nest box and Kevin reached in to retrieve the ring.

It remains a mystery how and why it came off here, as it is a tight fit on his finger and the nest box was not a ‘likely’ area.
We could only assume that the strings when carrying the bales had worked it down his finger without him noticing – only to drop off as he fluffed up the sawdust.

Regardless, Kevin had now been reunited with his Great Grandfathers ring.

Job done.

One Day Old Wedding Ring Lost in Kerikeri, Found in Grass.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
One of the the things that drew me into ringfinding was the chance to allow people to continue the sentimental journey with the jewellery they are emotionally connected to.
Sometimes that story is in jeopardy before it’s even begun…
Yesterday Adam got married.
 
He had been playing cricket on a large grassy area below the house, when he realised his brand new gold wedding band was missing.
 
The question was, where?
 
Kikuyu lawn seems to absorb rings with its open, low thatch and their attempts to locate the ring visually had drawn a blank.
 
His wife found me online and messaged me to see if I would be able to help as they were leaving the area soon. It was nearly sunset so I headed straight out.
 
There were several areas and times when the ring might have slipped from his finger without him realising. First check was the shrubs and bushes where he had been looking for a ball. Nothing.
 
I then focussed on the cricket area. The party lights were still on which illuminated the grass enough to track my progress. The pinpointer was definitely getting a workout checking the many historical trash targets buried in the surface soil.
 
After an hour, I picked up a strong signal outside the original area. In the glow of the party lights, out came a bright yellow and brand new gold ring!
 
Adam was walking back to the party having been down to collect a bag, as he passed I asked if he would like this ring…
 
He let out a yell, which was echoed by the guests up at the house.
 
His wedding ring had definitely started its story in dramatic style. Out of all the memories that will attach to it over time, hopefully this will be the only escape story.

 

Heirloom Signet Ring lost at Taupo Bay – Huge potential area, Found by Experienced Ring Finder

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626
Got a message from Krista
” Lost my ring at Taupo Bay today”.
After delving deeper, it transpired she might have lost her treasured heirloom rose gold ring at one of several locations: Washing the car, washing the dog, Potting/manuring some plants, swimming with the dog at one end of Taupo Bay, or when a boogie board was taken from her at the other end… HUGE potential area and with no start point. This is where experience takes precedence over ‘brute force’ (eg trying to cover every square centimeter). I met Krista  at her home, quickly eliminating the car/dog washing areas and the freshly manured garden plants as I waited for her to get ready to head down to the beach, although I already had a hunch where the lost ring would be found… I then followed her to the beach.
There were two locations of interest here, where she went into the water with her dog, and where a boogie board was taken off her. I chose to clear the latter first as it was at highest risk of being picked up by a casual holidaying metal detectorist as it was in the dry sand zone above the high tide mark and this time of year, coils are prevalent…
I cleared the highest probability area of the dry sand and with the tide about to turn shifted my focus to where she had taken the dog into the sea. I could return to complete the dry sand with a high intensity search if necessary.
At the swim spot at the other end of the bay, I asked Krista to retrace her movements and interactions from when she parked the truck. I mentally marked out the highest probability area on the sands as she retold her activities that afternoon and I settled in for a long search into the evening… I typically allow a minimum of four hours which, from experience, is sufficient to recover 90% of items. If the item is at a high risk of being lost to other detectorists, casual passers-by or a dynamic environment, eg surf, I often extend the hours to try and secure the lost item in the initial search phase.
After several circuits of the search pattern, I hit a nice solid tone at the waters edge – 3 inches under the surface lay her heirloom signet ring. It was outside the area she thought it would be [Trust No-one, Assume Nothing, Check everything] but the important thing was – It had been found.
I held it up and started to walk back towards her, a big grin on my face, a grin matched only by hers once she realised it was actually her lost ring and not someones elses.
All done, I packed up and headed home to get ready for my day job.

Silver Ring Lost While at Work – Found in Kerikeri Orchard

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626

Just after sunrise this morning I was meeting Sinead at a local commercial orchard near Kerikeri, with the objective of finding her silver ring lost the previous day.
She had taken it off and put it a pouch with her phone while planting new vines. But later in the day, discovered it had disappeared.

Fortunately she had a good idea of which rows it would be in, although a dedicated group of fellow workers on hands and knees had failed to find it yesterday.
On arrival at the block, deep in the orchard, Sinead recounted how she had taken her ring off and put it in the pouch with her phone at the start of work.

We started the search in the row where she had taken the phone out of the pouch to answer a call.

Going was very tough with lots of chatter from buried offcuts, wire staples and similar chaff that you find on any established commercial site, however the ring would (should) be a good signal and I was able to move reasonably fast.
As the coil wiped the dew off the grass it gave an excellent indicator that I was getting 100% coverage. Who needs GPS!

First row finished after about 45 minutes with only a couple of too-close-to-call possibles investigated.

We moved onto the second row, I was suddenly now conscious that this orchard covered several square kilometres…

Sinead mentioned that she noticed she had dropped her headphones here…or maybe that row over there – I took her word for it, they all looked the same to me!
I started in the area where the headphones were found, nothing. Opened the search a bit wider and…a good repeatable signal.
I parted the grass and saw the silver edge of the ring pressed into the topsoil.
Leaving it there, I beckoned to Sinead to come over.
“Oh, Wow!”, as she excitedly picked up her ring from where it fell and put it back on her finger.

 

iPhone se Found on Random Hunt at Matauri Bay – Traced and Returned

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626

Not all recoveries are planned, some are random exercises in detective work.
I was working Matauri Bay beach doing a casual hunt before work this morning, when I dug an iPhone SE. Usually phones are no more than fancy spirit levels when they come out of the tide but this one was a recent loss and showed potential to be able to at least allow the owner to salvage their photos and contacts.

I headed off to work a bit early in order to put the phone through intensive care, quick rinse in fresh water, dried it off and delicately picked the sand out of the charging port. Firing it up, it flickered to life, complained about flat battery and shut down. It lives! Hopefully I could now reunite the owner with their rather expensive phone.

While I charged it, I swapped the sim out into my phone to discover a couple of missed calls which occurred after loss and looked promising leads.

Dropped the sim back into the found phone and sent a text to both numbers from my one explaining the situation and asking if they had a name I could follow up…and waited.
On the off-chance it had been dropped by a camper at the adjacent holiday park, I phoned the office to enquire if anyone had lost a phone recently.
“Yes, a white iPhone”, “Well, I have found it!” – A cheer is heard in the background at the other end of the line. I arranged to drop it off after work.

It seems Nakita had dropped it a couple of days previously, the fact it had survived at least three tides was a testament to the quality of the phone as it had lain under the sand at about the half-tide mark spending quite a few hours underwater at each high tide.
A family member gratefully accepted it on behalf, and I headed home.

Two Rings Lost at Tapuaetahi Beach – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626

It’s been a long, hot, and very dry summer – Perfect for beach-goers to relax on the sand, and lose their precious jewellery.

Marion contacted me after hearing about The Ringfinders, and explained how she had been holidaying as a guest at a private beach, notoriously difficult to access and requests from non-residents – Including Ringfinders on a recovery mission, were met with a negative answer.
Marion was also unable to regain access so I knew that I would have to call in some favours on this one in order to get through the electronic gate and be able to find her rings without coming back to find my car towed.
This is when I recalled a discussion with Tim last year after I found his ring at nearby Matauri Bay ( Story here). At the time, Tim had queried the likelihood of finding another ring with a 30 year headstart, lost in a rocky bay while surfing at the same private property. It wouldn’t have moved or been detected, but thirty years… and clefts and crevices would be needle in a haystack. The upside was he could gain access through his contacts, and I would spend some time looking for his ring first.
The duly appointed day arrived and as the gate slid open and I drove through, it felt like I was entering Hallowed ground. It was several kilometres to the bay, surrounded by the residents houses. Fully expecting to be challenged I was surprised to be waved at as I passed walkers and people tending their gardens. I casually waved back while working out a plan B in case I returned to find my car had been towed due to a breakdown in communication…
The bay where Tim lost his ring was a sea of basalt boulders, most weighing 40+ kg. Tim, his wife and I of us spent a full hour, each with pinpointers rummaging in and around, but short of a systematic stringline search taking some weeks, any recovery would have been pure dumb luck. We located the remains of a fishing reel and one fishing weight. Tim conceded his ring had a new home and at least we had spent a cumulative time of three hours on it.

We headed back to the main beach and as I got kitted up at the car, Tim and his wife took their chairs etc down the path onto the sand.
With my experience in Search and Rescue, I have developed a fondness for tracking humans, a skill which has served me well as a RingFinder.  It wasn’t surprising to see that Tim and his wife had set up their chairs in the primary area of interest. Humans can be so predictable in their unconscious decisions!
“You are kidding?” when I asked Tim to move a dozen metres to the right. I briefly explained behavioural profiling and how we, as a species, tend to follow the same instinctive actions. They took it in good humour as they moved their new basecamp.
A few minutes later, Marions’ first white gold ring appeared in the scoop – right where Tim and his wife had been sitting! Tims wife didn’t believe how fast it had been found and as they were admiring the ring, I started the spiral search and less than a metre away, the second emerged.

I texted Marion the good news and as I headed back to the car, a young lad passed me with his metal detector heading for the beach…

Gold Earring Lost in Sand at Whangaroa, Found and Returned.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626

I got a call late last night from Sophie, asking if I was able to find a lost gold earring in the sand.

She had been playing volleyball on the beach at Tauranga Bay near Whangaroa in the Far North of New Zealand, and at some stage in the rough and tumble the earring was lost into the sand. A fellow camper at the Tauranga Bay campsite had heard of or witnessed my successful recovery of a lost engagement ring there just a couple of days ago. It was a simple matter to track down The Ringfinders to save the day (well, night)

It was just about low tide when she phoned, dinner could wait but time and tide waits for no-one, it was 50km away and night searches in the water aren’t fun. I threw the water kit in the car and headed off.

They had left the net up so I could see where they had been playing, but the giveaway was the parallel lines and grubbing about of what looked like a group of people doing a shoulder to shoulder contact search through the sand. It was just on sunset when I started and worked the court area and the principle traffic area back towards the camp.  I became aware of an audience in the dark, comfortably seated and watching what must be the most boring spectator event ever!  However they were to disappointed as the only two targets found were a hair clip and a 10c piece.  Confident I had cleared the site, it was either deep or not in the indicated area.

After confirming clothing etc had been checked to make sure it hadn’t been caught up, I said I would return in the morning with a deeper coil.

Up at 4am to drive back to the beach. Aside from a few torches of bleary-eyed campers stumbling around the campsite it was just me and my detector.  I re-ran the original grid, picking up some deeper junk targets before widening the search area.   I dropped over the change in contour where the waves had lapped on last nights high tide and off to the outside of one corner of the original grid I picked up a quiet ‘double-thud’ of a circular object – but could be an old can pulltab down deep.

Yes, it was deep, nearly 30cm down, but it wasn’t a pulltab as my fingers closed on the familiar shape of a sand-filled ring in the dark. Verified in the headlamp, and Job Done!

I scratched a message to Sophie in the sand: “FOUND IT! Back at 4pm” and headed off to work.

Later that morning I got a TXT from Sophie who had seen the message and was overjoyed at the retrieval of her lost earring.  By 4pm, it was back in her hands (to be put safely away with the other one for the remainder of their holiday)

New Engagement Ring Lost in Surf – Found and Returned, Tauranga Bay, NZ

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626
Every ring has a story. This particular story was nearly cut short after it had only just begun!
One day into her engagement, Alexis was enjoying the water at Tauranga Bay near Whangaroa in New Zealand when she got hit by a large wave. Once the excitement had subsided, she realised the sea had pinched her brand new engagement ring!
Fortunately others nearby recommended me and she called immediately, before the wave action could bury it too deep.
On arrival, it wasn’t hard to see where she was in the crowd by the shoal of snorkellers searching in the shallows. After a quick Q&A, I had a good idea of the search area and started the first run.
Quick contact from Alexis and careful noting of her location enabled me to recover and hand back her lost ring within a few minutes – to screams of relief and joy echoing around the beach.
Alexis turned to her fiance, “Are we still getting married?” 😆
And the ring added a chapter to its story.

 


Diamonds lost in sand, found within two minutes

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626

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  🙂

 

Gold and Diamond Ring Lost at Kerikeri, New Zealand – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626

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.

Instantly lost…

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 🙂