Lost Jewellery recovery Tag | The Ring Finders

3 Day Ocean Search For Lost Wedding Chain, Port Beach, Western Australia.

  • from Perth (Australia)

Zosia had just dived through a wave when she discovered one of two heavy gold chains she was wearing had not also made it through. She’d felt a tug on her hair as she went through the wave and instinctively checked for the two chains when she stood up. To her utter horror she found the longer one joined with

Zosia minus the stress!

a wedding ring was gone. The worst part was that the chain she’d lost was not hers, it had been left with her for safekeeping by a close friend.

When she rang me I could tell she was feeling destroyed about it. After hearing what had happened and where I said try not to panic Zosia, I’m on my way!

When I arrived we marked out the search area and I had to explain that 18 kt gold chains were notoriously difficult to find because a metal detector does not ‘see’ the chain as a solid mass as people assume it would but rather each link in the chain and there is a limit to how fine a ‘low conductive’ chain link a particular metal detector can find. The positive I went on to say was that the chain was joined with a wedding ring which although also a link in the chain has far more mass than any other link making it much more detectable.

I spent about three hours searching the water that day until the tide was too deep to continue, without success.

I had been thinking about the search overnight and felt that I had searched the right area as Zosia had had the presence of mind to land mark where she had been in the water. I decided to repeat the search the next day rather than extend the search area as I could not be as sure as usual that I’d not missed it.

Unfortunately the sea conditions were no where near as good the next day with plenty of loose seaweed to further frustrate the search. After just 20 mins in the ocean the surging drag on the seaweed wrapped around my detectors coil was so powerful it snapped my detectors shaft, which is not easy to do and I was forced to drive an hour home to repair it.

After three days of searching this is a view I’ll not soon forget!

Day three. Well they say “third time lucky” in hope don’t they? I try to rely on ‘good science’ rather than good luck but I did murmur those words I’m sure..

Conditions were better again, I started on the south side this time. After 30 mins with no targets I was up to my shoulder deep when I heard a faint scratchy signal in my headphones. It’s was only semi-repeatable so I walked forward a few paces and back again. When I swung my coil over the target again it sounded louder and then as I turned to listen on a different angle a solid tone appeared in the middle of the scratchy signal. As the sound had changed by standing on it I knew it was fairly shallow. Both were great signs so I held my breath as I lifted my scoop with its first bite of sand and there it was.. Zosia’s friends gold chain draped over the end of my scoop.

I rang a delighted Zosia who is a cook at a fly in fly out mine with the great news. She was so happy as she’d been feeling very ill since the loss and 2 weeks later we met back at the beach to return her chain and take a smile pic of a much happier woman than the one I’d first met.

Love what I do..

Diving Ring Rescue In A Freak Lightning Storm, Hillary’s Boat Harbour, Perth, Western Australia.

  • from Perth (Australia)

Well this was a first! When called out to Hillary’s Boat Harbour to dive detect for a sentimental wedding ring recently I got to roll onto my back and observe a powerful lightning show from 4 meters underwater!

Weren’t you scared Sean?  mmm.. yeah.. um.. well yes.. quite a lot actually..

I’d arranged to meet David and his wife who were here on holiday from New South Wales at the bathers beach in Hillary’s Boat Harbour. I’d asked David to bring along his swimming gear so he could swim out to where he thought he’d felt his precious wedding ring slip off into the depths a few days before.

I donned my diving gear on the beach and made my way out as well. When David gave me the o.k. I dived down to the bottom which was at about 4 m or so and started a circular search pattern with my metal detector. Initially the visibility was pretty good for a harbour with perhaps 6-7 m but as there is virtually no current in the harbour the water was soon full of sediment and darkness. It is always difficult to explain just how disconcerting being underwater in total or near total darkness can be. It is truly one of those things you have to do to fully comprehend.

When I had returned to my starting position on the first search circle with an assortment of junk I extended outward another meter and started to search a second larger circle around the first when all of a sudden there was one hell of a bang, an intense flash and a pressure wave which made me spit my regulator out into the darkness somewhere in front of me! I didn’t have time for panic to set in, I dropped my detector to the seabed and searched frantically in the darkness for the hose my regulator was attached to and once found, returned it to my gob for a long suck on the oxygen it provides!

As I concentrated on getting my heart and breathing rates back under control I realised there was a lot more light now and that the light was flashing different colours in the clouded water. It now dawned on me that what had happened was not an explosion but a lightning strike somewhere very close by and the flashes were further lightning reflecting off the bottom. Amazed, I decided to move out of the cloud I’d created and to roll onto my back and watch this rather surreal show unfold for a few minutes as I contemplated just how safe it was to be in the water just now! Which I might add it is not, certainly not in shallow water, however being on the surface is less safe again. 

The sun reappeared along with David’s precious! 

When the flashes were getting less frequent I returned to the task at hand which was to finish the second search circle. I was really hoping to find the ring by this method but would only do one more larger circle before switching to a running jack-stay search which is more efficient when searching over larger areas.

Not long later whilst squeezing yet another target filled handful of goop I felt something solid.. and heavy.. and round.. with a hole in it, a big hole as in finger big. As usual when I’m at this point my heart rate goes up a bit as I draw the object in my hand to an inch from my dive mask.. is it is it is it? That turned into an oh yeah that’s the glint of gold, and then an oh yeah its got a pattern on it.. and then.. surely? A quick exit stage left to some clear water and another look confirmed it.. there she was, David’s triple-tone gold wedding ring!


15 Ring’s Lost … 16 Ring’s Found! Cloverdale, Perth, Western Australia.

  • from Perth (Australia)

Whilst sitting in her living room recently, Phillipa’s bedroom roof decided to collapse and fill the room with a foot or so of blow-in insulation with bits of ceiling, plaster, and other junk not to mention shoes in the mix.

I’d been called by one of  the insurance company’s cleaners a day later and was asked if I could help find Phillipa’s 15, mainly gold rings which she’d had on a glass pedestal stand (I never did find the pedestal come to think of it) on her dressing table. Of course the rings had been scattered across the room during the collapse, and were now strewn amongst the mess..


When I first saw her bedroom the mess was mattress deep except for right near the table where the cleaners had made a start.

You last saw your ring’s where?

I remember thinking, wow, this may not be so fun! I took my pinpointer and tested the floor and confirmed it was a timber floor full of nails so using a detector in the room would not be a practicle option in locating the lost rings. It was soon obvious I would have to remove the mess a bit at a time and to then detect the rings out of the mess on a pre-detected area in Phillipa’s garden.

I decided to fold a tarpaulin in a ‘u’ shape outside the door in the hallway and started shovelling the mess into it before taking it out to the garden to spread flat on the ground. I’d then detect the rings, pins, needles and paper clips etc out of the insulation. This process was repeated many times. I found most of the rings in the first four tarpaulin loads that I scanned. Then they got few and far between.I think the lower rings on the pedestal had not gotten as much momentum off the pedestal as the top ones so they’d dropped to the floor closer to the table.. and this is where I’d started.

When I finally found the 15th ring about 2 hrs later I yelled a hooray from the garden and excitedly made for Phillipa’s door. Phillipa was grinning from ear to ear as she inspected the returned rings one by one until suddenly her expression changed. She looked up and said “oh you’ve found one I lost a few years ago! So there is still one missing”.

“Was that no. 11? I’ve lost count.”

After checking the rings again she said she was sure and knew which one. I asked, “would it happen to be 18 kt or platinum and one of the smallest?” She replied “Yes how did you know? It fits on my pinky finger!”

The reason I knew was I’d been thinking could I have missed one, and the reason was simple. I’d started to run some iron discrimination to eliminate the pin and needle type signals due to there being so many (she’d had a sewing box etc on the dresser also!) Anyway rings usually end up flat in the ground or sand when they are lost but these rings were at all angles in the blow-in insulation probably more so for the smaller lighter rings.

Rings, coins, and any metal infact presents far less surface area when ‘on edge’ to a metal detector and this typically makes them give a weaker and different signal. It was possible that for those reasons I may not have heard it or did but dismissed it. So the one remaining ring to be found was either still in the room or I’d missed it and it was now in a wheeliebin!

What a beauty. This ring had a large and stunning aquamarine and was Phillipa’s favourite. She’d said before the search “if you can only find one of them please..”

I felt I now had a good idea of the “spray zone” of the rings and that I’d removed all the material from that area of the room so maybe I had missed one one. I decided to check the wheelie bin first as I’d had an idea about how to do it quickly to eliminate that rather than doing more loads out of the room!

I was able to borrow a leaf blower from Phillipa’s neighbor and had set it up underneath an outside table in the large back yard. I lifted the bin sideways on top and slowly opened the lid after I’d turned the blower on. This impromtue ‘dry blower’ blew away the light paper based insulation (non fibreglass!) as it fell from the bin and anything that was heavy didn’t blow very far. Once I’d emptied the bin I then turned my metal detector on and waved it over the heavy junk left behind on the grass and amongst some other signals sure enough there it was, the short sweet sounding double tone I needed, the 16th and final ring.


Twin Rescues Part 1, Coogee Beach, Fremantle, Western Australia.

  • from Perth (Australia)

Jeff had called me to ask if I could dive under his boat in Coogee Marina and recover a sentimental gold bracelet he’d lost after he’d caught it on a cleat on the side of his boat as he was getting off. A few days had gone by since the loss as his son is a professional diver and he’d had a go at locating it but had had to give up due to the zero visibility down there.

Now this is a bit embarassing but when I got half way to meeting Jeff I realised my BCD (Boyancy vest) wasn’t in the car! I pulled over thinking I must call Jeff and see if I could arrange the dive for the next day. I also thought well I’m half way there I may as well meet him and have a look first hand at the loss site.

By the time I got to the marina I had thought through how I might still achieve the result Jeff needed albeit rather unconventionally! Jeff’s bracelet was last seen by him disappearing into the murky water between his boat and the jetty. I dropped a weighted line into the water approximately where the bracelet had dropped into the water then I tied a rope around my dive tank and had Jeff lower it to me in the water. I then dived down with it and lay on it on the bottom.

Jeff’s got his bracelet and smile back!

The bottom was not solid but varying thicknesses of silt and mud so the tank made a nice bed in this and allowed me to search ahead of the tank with my hand held scubatector. Each time I detected half a meter or so in front of me I would slide the bottle forward a length and detect again. When I turned to come back I was able to clearly feel the rut the tank

Jeff’s shiny precious.. FOUND.

had left behind out to the right of me even though I could not see my hand in front of my mask! This meant I was coming back perfectly parallel to my first search line. Who would have thought a mistake in leaving my BCD behind would lead to a novel new search technique! As usual I waved my detector over a hole I’d just made to retrieve yet another beer can and heard another fainter signal. I felt around the hole and squeezed the mud until I felt somthing solid, and flexible… and HEAVY. I swished my hand at arm’s length from me in the water to clean most of the mud from my hand before pulling my hand right up close to my mask and boom.. there was Jeff’s gold bracelet, bright as anything in the near total dark! Everything appears about 1/3 bigger underwater than it really is so it’s an amazing feeling when gold just appears before your eye’s in this way, even more so when it’s the gold you are searching for… needless to say Jeff nearly fell of the jetty when I appeared after only 8 mins with his shiny precious dangling from my hand. His smile pic says it all.. one very happy man..

15 minutes later… Part 2!


Lost Wedding Ring Found In Armadale Garden, Perth, Western Australia.

  • from Perth (Australia)

Ray had been doing some gardening a week ago and after going inside to wash up had discovered his treasured wedding ring was missing. Ray had lost his wife of 38 years earlier in the year so his wedding ring had become especially sentimental to him since then. He had also lost a lot of weight over the last year which was probably the main culprit with respect to losing it. He’d spent a week looking for it before finding my service and shooting me a desperate message for help in locating it.

I messaged him straight back and shortly later he rang and explained what he thought had happened to it. I arranged to come out immediately and search for it.

When I arrived I discovered Ray had had some more sour luck as he met me in a wheelchair on the front lawn and explained he’d managed to fall down some steps and had broken his foot in three places.

After asking the usual preliminary investigation questions I set about searching the lawn and garden.

Property searches can be especially difficult due to the huge amount of metal rubbish that tends to accumulate around houses.. the older the house, the worse it gets and this was no different. As I suspected there were reticulation fittings in the lawn, reticulation solenoid wiring, wire, nails, screws, reinforcing steel in the concrete garden edging and a metal fence bordering the garden as well as close overhead powerlines!

These situations really call on all of ones prior experience and can be most frustrating. Luckily my experience told me just what to listen for as far as signals from my metal detector goes and allowed me to

Hope this turned the ‘luck’ tide for you Ray

ignore all the signals in the lawn and as Ray watched me stop and wave my wand over various spots and then move on, I eventually stopped, knelt down and sure enough the first signal I’d decided fitted the bill was Rays ring, I knew straight away as one edge of his two tone gold wedding band was actually still partially visible in the dark soil of the garden bed.. Hooray! As you can see in the attached pic it was all smiles and thumbs up from there, even Dylan Dog’s wearing a smile!..

My pleasure Ray and merry xmas..