Northland Jewellery Recoveries Tag | The Ring Finders

Wedding Ring Lost at Russell Beach – Found

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Paul phoned me at work yesterday, “Is this Pete with the metal detector?”It transpired he had been enjoying a swim at Russell in the Bay of Islands, and had put his hands down into the beach gravels, and lost his wedding ring.He had lost it around high tide, so I arranged to meet him on site at low water later that afternoon.
Russell beach is a very steep, highly mobile pea-gravel, your feet sink up to the ankle as you walk and it ‘eats’ rings.  I have done a few lost ring recoveries here and they are always deep.
Paul had done the right thing though and acted promptly to contact me, as well as being able to meet me on site which always hugely increases the chances of a successful recovery.
I arrived shortly before he did, and decided to make a start. I selected an area as the most logical place for him to swim and started on the low tide mark – No sense in getting in the water if it wasn’t necessary.
Paul turned up in a few minutes and confirmed I was in the right area.  He then marked out the boundaries for me.I started my first grid pattern and within a minute I had a handful of gravel containing his ring!
It’s nice to have an easy one once in a while 🙂

 

 

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.

 

Wedding Ring Lost on Urupukapuka Island – Found!

  • 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 yesterday evening from Laura, who was camping on Urupukapuka Island.
Her husband had just lost his wedding ring in the grass. He took it off and put it in his lap, and forgot it was there until it was too late.
Missing.
After a bit of to and fro organising logisitics that evening, they booked a fast ferry ticket for me. The following morning I was heading to the outer edge of the Bay of Islands with my gear.

Urupukapuka is both the largest and outermost of the islands in the Bay of Islands, and due to the sterling work done by Project Island Song, it is pest-free. This allows several endangered species to safely call the island home.
Waiting for the ferry, I had a short chat to one of the team who was taking a couple of trained dogs out to Urupukapuka as part of the pest-eradication program. These particular dogs are trained to find rats, which can apparently swim up to 1500m, thus able to island-hop to even the outer islands. The patrols around the islands have to be relentless to maintain this pest-free status.

The 45 minute trip was very pleasant over a flat sea and I soon joined the queue of people making their way down the jetty onto the island.
Some immediately established their ‘spot’ in the shade for a day at the beach, others dispersed in order to meander along the various tracks that lead around the island.
One, with detector slung over his shoulder, made a bee-line up the steep hill out of Otehei Bay bound for the campsite. I was booked on the midday return ferry so was on the clock…

It should be noted here, that metal detecting is illegal on Department of Conservation land and historical reserves. I hold a permit from DoC, with very strict conditions, for the purposes of ring recoveries only. This has to carried with me at all times when detecting on DoC estate.

I duly arrived at the campsite and went through the backstory, looking for clues, verifying actions, movements and timelines. These would influence how I conducted the search, and maximise the chances of getting this ring back on the finger where it belonged.
This lovely couple are from Argentina, and to the best of my ability I was going to ensure their ring went home with them!

A principal search area was marked out with towels, hats etc and I got to work, two hours before I had to hike back to the ferry.
I cleared the initial marked area, and started to extend. Assume Nothing, Believe No-one, Check Everything.
The tent had been pitched after the loss, “You know what I’m going to ask, don’t you?” I grinned to them.

A new tent location was verified ring-free, and they started to empty the tent and pull the pegs.
I jokingly mentioned that I would find the ring elsewhere as soon as they had gone to the trouble of moving their camp.
They had handfuls of tent pegs and a partially relocated tent when I heard a soft tone in some long grass under a tree.
I parted the grass and underneath the thatch was a bright gold ring.

Job done, I had time enough to head back to Otehei Bay and sit in the shade with a freshly brewed coffee from the cafe as I waited for the ride home.

Halfway back to Paihia on the ferry, the phone rang, “Are you the ringfinder?”

That story has yet to unfold…

 

 

   

 

View on way to Campsite

 

Cable Bay campsite

 

Coopers Beach Lost Key While Swimming

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

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

I was at work when Heather phoned.
She had been swimming at Coopers Beach and when caught by a rogue wave, her expensive-to-replace chipped car key slipped from inside her costume.
I made a quick call to my boss to check he was okay with me disappearing for half the day (again!), and after a few hasty discussions with others arranging cover while I was away, I was on the road.
Unfortunately, I work about halfway between home and Coopers Beach, so had a half hour drive each way to get the gear before continuing north to the site.

I arrived just before low tide to see Heather and her mother doing ‘The Walk’ that I have seen many times. Heads down, wandering aimlessly whilst staring intently at the sand. Occassionally scuffing their feet at something that could be a key, but disappointingly turning out to be a black pebble or bit of shell.

Thankfully, Heather had a video of where they had been swimming, showing a distinctive clump of seaweed and a pattern of shells in the foreground. From this I was able to define a reasonably tight arc that the key might be in but people often drift to one side or another. The distribution of seaweed along the beach showed me which way the current was running so I marked the likely maximum up-current limit and would work downcurrent. It was now just a matter of passing the coil over the key. Miss it by 2 inches and I could walk straight past it.
Recoveries take a huge amount of self-discipline. The hardest are when they stretch into the night, the rain begins to fall and the hours continue to slide past…and that’s just on land.
But today was calm, sunny and a beautiful location.

I set up a grid on the wet sand at the edge of the water as I waited for the tide to drop.
I was digging the odd coin, bottle cap or ancient copper boat nail. You must verify every target in this game, a trashy area will sometimes have you checking over a hundred potentials.
The beach here was away from the popular areas so thankfully relatively devoid of false targets.
Dry land completed, I started to move out into the water.

About thigh deep, just deep enough to get inconveniently soaked by waves, I picked up a solid iron tone under the loose sand and shell.
The key was about 10cm down in this very mobile, almost fluid, shell mix and it took a couple of bites with the scoop to lift it out of the hole. I held it up to Heather with a big grin, and waded ashore.

…Then headed back to work to catch up.

Lost Wedding Ring Found at Paihia

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

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

Having the presence of mind to accurately fix your location, and rapidly contact a dedicated ring finder can make the world of difference when you have lost a ring or other piece of sentimental jewellery.

Josh was enjoying his holiday, lounging in the warm summer shallows at a Paihia beach, when he decided to remove his white gold and diamond wedding ring from his finger to thread it onto his necklace for security.
Fate intervened and the ring fell into the cloudy water.

He spent some time looking for it with a mask, although the zero visibility made it impossible to see.
That was when his wife contacted me.

Josh had made a mental note of a couple of items on shore that lined up, as well as an accurate depth and distance from the beach. It was high tide, but rather than wait for the next low tide the following day, the tight start point encouraged me to make the attempt before the evening light faded.

I waded out, counting my paces and gauging the depth as described by Josh, until I was in the general area. Josh directed me a little further to one side where he felt the ring would be and I started to grid.

Just after I turned to start the second run, I got a clean tone in the headphones – the audio too ‘bright and smooth’ to be litter.

The scoop went in, I checked the hole was clear and shook the sediments out of the scoop. The sand flowed away revealing the lost ring.

One of my fastest recoveries yet – thanks must go to Josh for providing an excellent start point and contacting a Ring Finder ASAP.

 

Matapouri Lost Ring – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

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

Matapouri Bay is a very popular beach on the Tutukaka coast with its soft yellow-gold sand and clear ocean water. Unfortunately the beach environment is also one of the prime locations for lost items.
Loss of a ring at the beach is usually due to that fateful combination of sunscreen and wet hands, which can stealthily remove rings, sometimes without the wearer even being aware.
It is advisable to leave rings at home when visiting the beach. At the very least taking them off and leaving them somewhere safe, in a pocket or bag.
However despite precautions, even being in a pocket can be no guarantee that the beach won’t take and hide your precious jewellery…As Tuyana found out a week ago.

She had been enjoying the day at the beach with family, and took her sentimental gold and emerald ring off and put it in the pocket of a dress laying with some other clothes for safekeeping.

At the end of the day, the dress was collected during packing up and when the pocket was later checked for the ring, it was missing.

And so began another ring recovery story.

A local offered to try and locate the ring the following morning with his metal detector, although regrettably was unsuccessful.
After a detailed phone conversation later in the week with Tuyana, I headed down to Matapouri from the Bay of Islands the following weekend to see what I could do.

I had another appointment at Tutukaka at 9am, so made it an early start, leaving at 2am and was on the beach just before 4. I have found four hours searching is usually sufficient to secure 90% of rings – if there is an accurate start point.

By torchlight, I marked out the various high, medium and low probability areas between the ‘towel spot’ on the beach, and the carpark. Then switched the torch off and after a few minutes to allow the eyes to recover, started searching by starlight. One of the joys of having an audio-only machine with no menus or target ID numbers to read.
The area where Tuyana was sitting was probably clear, having already been searched. I rechecked it anyway [Assume Nothing, Believe No-one, Check Everything].

Now I moved into the almost arcane side of things…
We, as a species, are really quite predictable in our unconscious movements.
Have you been on a walk and seen a puddle on the track with new routes caused by people walking around, rather than through it?
Crossing the road, you always adjust your step to land on the curb, not in the gutter… This concept follows through into Ring Finding.

Just under an hour from starting, and while searching the margins around Tuyanas likely path back to the car, I found myself crawling around under one of the boardwalks that leads down onto the beach.
I carefully and systematically checked around each supporting post. Heavy stainless fittings meant the main coil was no good, so it was inch by inch with the handheld pinpointer.
At the third or fourth post, I got a signal just off to the side, I scooped the sand with my hand, and my fingers closed on the shape of a ring.

After verifying by touch that it wasn’t one of those old-style ‘Beaver Tail’ pulltabs off a drinks can, I flicked the headlamp on and sitting in my hand was a beautiful emerald ring.
At just after 6am, I felt it was early enough to text Tuyana and let her know. After all, how better to wake up to the new day knowing your precious lost ring is now found?

Later that morning, after my other appointment, I got to meet Tuyana and add her smile to my collection, then drove off with my own smile.

Job done.

 

Ring Lost in Surf. Found after 3 Weeks, a Cyclone and Tsunami !

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

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

Three weeks ago, Ray was on Tokerau Beach in Doubtless Bay engaging in that iconic Kiwi summer pursuit, digging in the sand for Tuatuas.
Regrettably, his sentimental gold and diamond ring did what so many other lost rings have also done while gathering these tasty shellfish, it slipped from his finger into the sand, and vanished.
A week later he left me a phone message asking if I was able to assist in finding his lost ring.

I arranged to meet him the coming weekend and see if I could get his ring back to him.

That’s when nature intervened with a double whammy in the form of Cyclone Cody pumping waves up to 5+m onto the coast.
Then one from left-field, the eruption of Hunga-Tonga (which I heard in New Zealand, some 2,400km away!) which sent tsunami surges out across the entire Pacific.
….I decided to reschedule the ring recovery for the following weekend!
There was real potential for substantial sand movement with these combined events, but my safety always comes first.

The appointed morning arrived and I thanked Ray for making the effort to meet me on site at dawn in order to catch the low tide. As he referred to photos taken on the day to sort out where he had been, I got kitted up to get wet.

I set up a ‘beat’ of around 60m width to try and allow for any positional errors in Rays recollection, and waded out into the break.

While the sea was calm for this surf beach, the storm had brought in tonnes of loose weed which instantly wrapped around the detector adding massive drag. It wasn’t practical to keep lifting the coil out of the water every few seconds to shake it off so I had to put up with it. It felt like I was mopping the ocean floor and had to change arms every few minutes.
Added entertainment was the water being infested by loads of Eagle Rays feeding on the Tuatuas in the turbid water. When I got too close, or accidentally clipped them with the coil, they would take off through the wash like jet fighters. I love these guys, but having to do the ‘Stingray Shuffle’ through the weed was really fatiguing…

I had completed about three or four sweeps across the search area when the detector sounded off on a faint target, there had been no trash for once, so in my mind this was going to be the ring.
The hole went deeper and deeper, only to reveal an old lead fishing weight! I shook a basketball sized lump of weed off the coil and continued on, disappointed.
15 minutes later, another quiet tone in the headphones could be heard over the waves and wind.
Quiet, but crisp.
The scoop went in, missed it, another bite went deep into the bottom of the hole – Check and the sand was quiet. Whatever it was was in the scoop.
I shook the sand and shell out through the scoop when I heard that familiar clatter of a ring.
I secured it and slogged ashore through the weed and rays.

The sequence of reactions, I have seen many times.
Initially resignation in their eyes as they saw me walking up the beach after apparently giving up, changing to disbelief when I removed the ring from inside my glove – then amazement that the ring had actually been found, and was back on Rays finger.

Some detectorists collect rings, I prefer to collect smiles 🙂

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

.

Ring Lost Swimming at Whangarei – Found with Scuba

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626
Ella and her friends were swimming at the head of one of the Marsden Cove canals at One Tree Point, near Whangarei and as she moved out into the deeper dredged area, she felt her sentimental rose gold and diamond ring slip off her finger.
Long story short, five days later I found myself kitting up to dive the dock and hopefully locate her lost ring.
Although Ella wasn’t able to meet me on site, she did give me an excellent location of where, and how, it was lost.
Four minutes and twenty two seconds after reaching the bottom, I had the ring safely in my hand – I had spent more time putting the Scuba gear on than searching!
If you have lost a ring, or any item such as a bracelet or necklace, engaging an experienced Ring Finder as soon as possible gives you the absolute best chance of finding it.
This is especially so if the ring has been lost in the water, or in the sand.
I cover Whangarei, Tutukaka, Ngunguru, Russell, Paihia, Kerikeri, Coopers Beach, Taipa, Cable Bay and Kai Iwi and all areas in between.
I pride myself on an extremely high success rate with thirty six years experience and many hundreds of items found and returned in that time.

Grandfathers Gold Ring Lost in Sea at Tutukaka, Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
Ring Finder – Ring Recovery Specialist…Lost ring? Lost necklace? Lost keys?… Metal Detector Service – Call ASAP 021 401626
Erin was enjoying a swim at Kowharewa Bay, near Tutukaka when he lost his grandfathers signet ring.
The ring was given to his grandfather on his 21st birthday, and had been passed down to him. One of those things that is truly irreplaceable.
His wife contacted me, and I arranged to meet him at Tutukaka the following day to try and recover this precious part of his family history.
I was on site a little ahead of him, so set about lining up landmarks from a photo his wife had sent me and estimating how far out he would have been given the state of the tide and the 90 minute window they were there.
Kowharewa Bay has a very shallow contour below low water mark, so “waist deep” is potentially a huge area. The timestamp on the photo was invaluable as it told me exactly what the tide level was at the time around loss.
Once that was done, I headed back to the car to get the wetsuit on and make a start.
It was still well before low water, so did a quick calculation of how much extra depth to allow – which ultimately meant the curious onlookers on the beach could only see a pair of headphones and dive mask gliding backwards and forwards through the waves, occasionally sinking out of sight to investigate a potential target.
I finished the first search pattern out to one side of the estimated location and was just turning to head over and start a second run on the other side when the coil drifted over a solid tone off to my side .
Slipping underwater, I fanned the sand away to reveal a well worn signet ring.
Ring recovery is a “Game of Inches”. It’s a slow, methodical, extremely disciplined procedure, when there’s a lot of trash signals it can be extremely mentally fatiguing as well as you listen to and analyse every response.
Get lazy with just one sweep of the coil and you could miss the target and walk right past it.
Had the coil not just grazed the ring in this instance it could have been a long 4-6Hrs in the water into the night until the search pattern opened up far enough to include it.
I waded ashore and phoned to let Erin know I had something for him!
He turned up about 5 minutes later and quickly had the ring back on his finger.
Tutukaka Ngunguru Matapouri lost ring Northland Jewellery Recoveries New Zealand Ringfinders Northland Jewellery Recoveries