Metal Detector Whangarei Tag | The Ring Finders

Tungsten Ring Lost in Sea at Tutukaka – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Bryans partner contacted me asking if I was able to assist with recovering his ring, lost while playing in the shallows at Kowharewa Bay near Tutukaka.
He had been larking around, and had thrown a clump of seaweed…and his tungsten ring.
Their efforts to find it visually were unsuccessful, and even as his partner messaged me, Bryan was out looking for it on the the low tide.
I arrived a while before they did the next day, and started the search in front of the popular swimming area, albeit on entirely the wrong section of beach – which is precisely why I always ask that someone always meets me on site.
Bryan duly arrived and indicated where he had been, and in which direction he had thrown the seaweed – This shifted the search area, and increased the odds of a successful recovery signficantly.
I did a cursory search of the beach above the waterline, before returning to the car and rekitting for a water search.
After returning to the search area, I was in around waist deep water and before long got that lovely ‘double hit’ return in the headphones.
The scoop came up with shell, gravels and sand which, when flushed, left a few shells and … Bryans tungsten ring.

I held it up to Bryan who was in the water a few metres away, which generated smiles all round.

Bryan wasn’t keen on a photo, so you’ll have to make do with me, sorry.

Silver Wedding Ring Lost in Sea at Tutukaka – Found

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

On Boxing day, Tahiroa was enjoying a summer swim at Whangaumu Bay, near Whangarei when he lost his silver wedding band.
He messaged me to see if I would be able to help, “I’m getting some strife…”

Unable to meet me on site, he sent a Google Maps pinned location. Not ideal as it is always preferable to have the person there to give a start point but you have to take what you can get.
When you’re chasing an item that’s only 3/4 inch in diameter, the search area can get very large, very quickly.

On arriving for the initial search, I slalomed down the beach past the holidaymakers to the waters edge – Where there was the distinctly fresh scoop mark of a metal detectorist.
Just one scoop, and the location matched Tahiroas description of beach location
Had someone seen the commotion as Tahiroa tried to find his ring, or had he put it on social media and a less altruistic sort had ‘sniped’ it?

You always have to assume the ring is still there though – until a comprehensive and methodical search has been completed.
I headed out into the water…

Unable to carry out regular gridding patterns due to more people being in the water than on the beach, I relied on the GPS to keep track of coverage.
I would clear one area, then as a spot opened up in the water, I would relocate and work that, and so on.
The GPS track was messy, with multiple dense ‘blobs’ of scribble connected by zig-zag lines as I moved from spot to spot.
Snorkelling children were becoming a nuisance. Every time the scoop went in they would dive down to try and grab whatever was coming out !
The repeated requests to keep clear had no effect, then I hit on the concept of camoflage.
I would dig a ‘dummy’ scoop next to the target, but rather than clear the scoop near the bottom – I lifted it right up to the surface for a good shaking…
The cloud of sand and silt spread all around me, reducing visibility to nil. As I operate on sound, I could safely retrieve the targets while the opposition were temporarily blinded..
The snorkelling terrors quickly lost interest and drifted away.
After four hours, and a no-show, I messaged Tahiroa the news and suggested that it might have already been found.

The next day, I made the two-hour drive again – I hate walking away from a no-find and I always need to prove to myself that it’s not there.
The approximated Google Maps pin meant I had to extend out along the beach, beyond the indicated area already searched.

At 6am, other than a few dog walkers, the beach was deserted and I could run my search lines without interruption.

Picking up from where I left off, I cleared a few ‘weak spots’ in the GPS track and then started nice long, straight lines.

I gradually extended the search area out…and the beach started to fill with people.
After a an hour or so I got a bright tone at the edge of the drop off.
As I lifted the scoop I heard the jangle of a ring – Gottit!

Back at the car, I could relax, and messaged Tahiroa the good news that his ring was now safe and secure.

It was about four weeks before we could both be in the same place at the same time, and yesterday I was pleased to finally be able to hand Tahiroas ring back to him.

Precious Gold Ring Found in Kamo Paddock

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

How do you find a ring in a paddock?
You call an experienced ringfinder.

Kareen was tidying up the house paddock with the scrubcutter and after returning to the house, she noticed the necklace her late mothers wedding ring had been threaded on was broken and hanging loose around her neck.
As you do, she headed straight back to the paddock to try and find the tiny gold ring.
And as you do, she had to give up after realising the area became impossibly huge when looking for a thin 3/4 inch diameter ring.

A work collegue later suggested she contact me.

Kareen needed to head south shortly after I arrived, and although she was happy for me to continue after she had gone I aimed to try and ensure she had the ring before she left.
She showed me the paddock, routes in and out and key locations, then left me to it as she headed back to the house to continue getting ready.

With the rare luxury of virtually no background interference, I was able to run the machine in an extremely sensitive setting and whip the big coil back and forth much faster than usual.
The chatter in the headphones was incessant with variations in ground mineralisation, the coil clipping a dead branch sent the headphones into a frenzy.
I ordinarily wouldn’t run in this mode, but it did have the great advantage of speed in this situation. A surface target would not be missed, although many loud subsurface signals each needed to be quickly verified.

An hour later, as the headphones filled up with ‘scribble’ due to a nearby underground powerline, a regular signal surfaced amongst the noise.

I parted the grass and revealed the ring, already flush with the soil surface, likely trodden on by Kareen.

Kareens face lit up with relief when I told her, and she asked if a hug was permitted.
Back at the house, her father came out and with an enthusiastic handshake explained the significance of the ring.

Job completed, I headed away and left them to finish preparing for their trip.

Lost ring in Garden, Found after Two and a Half Years…

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Two and a half years ago, Mary was doing some gardening at the retirement accommodation where she lives in Whangarei. Some time after weeding, gardening, and repotting a fern, she noticed her gold wedding ring of some forty years was missing.

Staff members at the time searched through the garden and fern, with no success.
As is often the case, the ring was given up as lost.

Recently on hearing about my recovery service, one of the staff members contacted me to see if there was any chance of finding it.
Mary was apparently sceptical about a recovery given the time that had elapsed though.
Her confidence was boosted when shortly after the enquiry, I successfully recovered a ring lost in a farm paddock that had been missing for an equivalent period of time.

I duly arrived at the accommodation and was met by Mary, who talked me through the loss.
Constantly assessing the different locations I was shown, I shifted them up and down my mental list in order of probability as we went.
After a few further questions, I had a good idea of the likely scenarios that might have led to this lost ring and got kitted up.

A quick reconnaissance sweep of the garden yielded only the usual decomposing nails, bits of brass and plumbing that are the usual background in urban searches.
Molesting the poor fern with the pinpointer was only met with silence from the probe. Cross that one off the list, which meant it wasn’t where it was supposed to be – they rarely are.

I returned to the car to get the ‘big guns’ out, time to get serious.
10 minutes later, in the lawn, a beautiful gold signal sounded in the headphones. I parted the grass and moss and after wiping the surface mud off, there was the shining edge of a ring.

It must have been lost while Mary was gardening then knelt or stepped on, into the soil surface. This would have prevented it from being found by the many searchers and almost certainly saved it from death-by-mower.

I left it there and tapped on the door of the unit.
When Mary came to the door, I simply said, “I’ve got something of yours”.

I let Mary pick it out of the soil where it had fallen two and a half years ago.

Had it not been for a caring staff member who took the initiative to contact me, it would still be lost.

Many rings lay in gardens, lost but not forgotten.  Waiting for an experienced Ringfinder…



Ring Lost in Whangarei Paddock for Two Years – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Nearly two years ago, Jono lost his wedding ring in a farm paddock.
He had been walking back across the paddock towards the house, after working in one of the outbuildings. Idly playing with the ring as he walked.
Once back at the house, he noticed it was now missing.

Retracing his steps failed to locate it in the grass, and he reluctantly gave it up as lost.
After reading about my recent recoveries, Jono decided it might be worth trying to retrieve the ring and gave me a call.

He wanted it, hopefully, to be a surprise for his wife so he cunningly organised the search for when she wasn’t home 🙂
I met up with Jono shortly after she had left and we went through the details of the loss, and where he thought it might be.
While he went to turn off the electric fence, I showed his young kids how the detector worked, giving each a turn on the headphones while I waved my hand with my own wedding ring over the coil.
It was a struggle getting the phones back off the youngest, who was transfixed by the detector chattering away due to the overhead powerlines.

The search area was going to be a corridor across the paddock. Starting at the fence nearest the house, I began to work my way across the paddock towards the shed.
Early in the search, I unearthed one of his childrens toy cars – so someone was happy already 🙂
Stock had pugged the ground fairly badly, so I was listening for a deeper target. After a few false hits I got a clean non-ferrous tone about 15-20cm down.
I dug the small spade in and turned a clod of soil over. In the bottom of the upturned plug was his ring.
Still shiny in the sunlight after its time underground.
Smiles all round.

Ironically, Jono is the immediate neighbour of another recovery I had previously done.
Jono lives directly over the road from Luke who had his wedding ring sucked off his finger by a calf he was feeding a couple of years ago. Also found and returned, again from a paddock, and just a couple of days before his anniversary.

Key Fob(s) Lost in Whangarei Paddock – Ring Finders to the Rescue

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

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

Barge Park Showgrounds in Whangarei is a popular location for exercising dogs with a large off leash area, and where Holly had taken her dog for a run around yesterday.
After some time, and a considerable area of knee high weeds – her car fob was missing.
Not just her keys though, but her partners spare key fob for his truck as well…
After searching for some time, she reached out to me for help.

I met Holly at Barge Park this morning and asked her to describe how/when she thought she had lost them.
As she recounted the events the SAR tracker in me was assessing the various stories being told in the tracks through the grass and weeds.
Well, RingFinders is a form of Search and Rescue 🙂

I could see someone, probably Holly yesterday, had walked in that direction, then apparently randomly turned and headed over there…Possibly the meanderings of someone looking for something? The fresh growth displaced under a foot fall and held under tension, springing back when released telling me it was recent, the lay of the grass showing me direction of travel. Erratic flattened areas in a short line possibly a from dog bounding around? Over there, a quad bike had travelled up the side of the search area before someone had later crossed it’s tracks.
Many events written temporarily in the grass helping to build a story of where people had gone, one of whom had dropped some keys…
And importantly where they had NOT gone, allowing me to discount large areas that were devoid of human tracks making the potentially large and uncertain search area so much smaller.

Starting the grid in the area of highest probability, I opted to run the machine ‘hot’ in order to be able to sweep over the top of the weeds, stopping occasionally to jab the pinpointer into the grass to discount a target as being subsurface. After a while it became clear there was a LOT of loud metallic targets, probably horseshoes etc but I couldn’t afford to discriminate it out without the risk of partially masking the keys.

On the third run I got a ‘kick’ in the threshold tone, looked down, and tucked under the matted grass thatch was a flash of silver.
Job done.
What could have taken many hours, reduced to 20 minutes.
Tracking used for a different sort of Search and Rescue 🙂

The Scene