Northland Jewellery Recoveries Tag | The Ring Finders

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 wedding band in Sand at Taupo Bay – Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
 Taupo Bay is a beautiful surf beach, and whilst the bigger waves can be powerful, the shallow runout wash into the beach shallows is an ideal place to play with the kiddies while on holiday – As Michael was doing with his 2yo daughter this morning.

As he lifted her up out of the water though, he felt his platinum wedding ring of 7 years slip off his finger – and vanish.

Rings sink almost instantly in mobile sands, and efforts to locate it were fruitless.

This afternoon, Michael posted on the local Taupo Bay social media group asking people to be on the lookout for it.

Word filtered through to me, and knowing the ring would already be under the sand, I got in contact with Michael.
The tide was approaching full, and a similar tide state to when Michael lost his ring, so I dropped everything and headed up – Worst case, I could work the last of the rising tide, and then follow it back down again into the night if necessary.
On arrival, I asked Michael to mark a line down the beach as his best guess as to the alignment the ring might be on, “We’ll see how good you are”, I said with a grin.This would be my reference for the grid extending out either side.With the tide rising, I started in the water and worked my way ashore.
Aside from a few ‘teasers’, likely deep fishing sinkers or pulltabs off drink cans, the beach was pleasantly clear of trash.

I emerged out of the shallows and continued the grid into the edge of the waters reach.
As I passed Michaels line in the sand, I got a nice low ‘double-hit’ of a shallow target.
I dug my hand in, and from about 2 inches down, emerged the ring – Smack in the middle of Michaels line!

I’ve often had rings up to 30-40metres, or more, away from the “It’s Here” mark, but never actually exactly on the line. Definitely one for the books.

With the ring handed back, a handshake and a few photos, I was on my way back home.

And Michael was out of the ‘doghouse’🙂

Diamond Ring and Necklace Lost in Russell – Both Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

This one is a little different.

The story below was written by the owner of the found items and sent to me as I made my way home from the recovery – Really unexpected, and a very nice gesture on her part.

Sally writes:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nearly 17 years ago, on our 3rd date, my now husband bought me a diamond necklace. I have worn it almost every day since then … including our wedding 12 years ago.
A week before Christmas we came up to Russell for a holiday. On our first swim my husband remarked I had not removed it or a ring before coming down on the beach. He took them off for me and ran up to our bach with them and then we had our swim.
Afterwards we went to Kerikeri to visit friends for Christmas and came back to find the lawns had just been mowed by the local contractor.

The next day my husband remarked that I wasn’t wearing my necklace and I asked where he had put it? He thought about it and then made the dreadful realisation that he had put it on the car wheel while we were swimming.

Then we both realised that we had driven off and the mower had been and in all likelihood it was gone forever. He searched the lawn several times during the rest of our holiday. Nothing.
Feeling resigned to losing it we came home to the Waipa and thought it would be an insurance claim in the New Year.

Today I saw a post on The Russell Noticeboard about someone having lost earrings and I was interested to read comments. That is where I saw the reference to Northland Jewellery Recoveries. I thought it was worth a try and called Pete McGhee and what followed surpassed my hope or expectations.

He said there was good reason to be hopeful and he set off from an hour away, and within 30 minutes of arriving he texted me the photo of the two items he had found: the pendant and ring… right where we had searched thoroughly.

I can’t recommend him more highly. Thank you so much Pete.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately, the very fine gold rope chain was not located. It is likely the mower effectively ‘vaporised’ it. However, the thin chain being so fragile probably saved the key components enabling them to be recovered unscathed.

Urgent Search for Whangarei Ring Lost in Surf, Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Late yesterday afternoon, Vega contacted me for help to find her lost ring at the beach.
She had been boogie-boarding at Ocean Beach, a beautiful surf beach on the outer coast of Whangarei – and had lost her ring in the sea.
After some google searches, her daughter suggested that Vega contact me.

Shortly after I had been given the circumstances, I was asking my long-suffering boss for the day off, again.
He agreed (I could imagine the eyes rolling), and so I was able to call Vega back and tell her that I would travel down first thing in the morning.
Marine recoveries are always against the clock – Never more so than when the person is on the last day of their holiday, and the ring has been lost in the intertidal zone on a surf beach!

I met Vega and her husband onsite, and I was very pleased to see they had pushed a stick into the sand yesterday to give me their best guess as to where it might be.
The dry fluffy sand where they had been sitting was the first search. Five minutes into it I dug a loud tone in the headphones – A flash of gold emerged…only to be a ‘kiddy-bling’ butterfly ring.
With a big grin, I jokingly asked Vega’s husband if this was it.
Dry sand cleared, and the tide approaching low, I returned to the car to get kitted up to head out into the surf.

This is where ringfinding experience, dedication and discipline come into play – careful tracking of coil coverage is critical to avoid missing even a ring-sized patch of sand. Not an easy task with surf breaking on you.
I wanted to cover the difficult section in the deepest water first, as this would be the first to be out of reach after the tide turned. It’s physically demanding fighting the waves, currents and pushing the detector through the water for several thousand sweeps.
After clearing the deeper water, I was glad to be able to start moving into the shallows for some respite on the arms.

Some time later, I heard a distinctive quiet tone in the shallows.
It took three fast scoops of sand to get to it, the shelly sand was very light and mobile and flowed straight back in the hole as fast as I could remove it.
The hole was quiet after the third scoop, and I lifted it out confident that there was a ring inside.
After sluicing the sand through, I was left with a few shells – and a gold ring.

Vega was further up the beach, standing in the shallows watching the sea. She looked up as I approached, I held the ring up with a big smile.
Her eyes lit up as she put the ring straight onto her finger and vowed it wouldn’t come to the beach again.

.

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 swimming at Taupo Bay. Found!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

I occasionally get calls from people that I have previously recovered lost rings for, usually along the lines of, “I’ve done it again…”, or, “A friend/neighbour has lost their…”
Krista phoned me to say that a guest had been swimming at Taupo Bay and had lost his Gucci ring in almost exactly the same spot that I had recovered her own treasured heirloom ring at the start of this year.

It was late afternoon and the light would soon be fading, however the tide was falling so I had to try and catch the first low tide that night.
I arrived at Taupo Bay and was relieved to see that this popular surf beach had virtually no break today – I knew the area of loss would be exposed at low tide, however that wouldn’t be until about 10pm so I waded out and made a start.
The water hadn’t warmed to summer temperatures yet, but was definitely warm enough that the wetsuit wasn’t needed. A very strong cross current was feeding a rip nearby and sand was being visibly moved along the beach and at times sucked from under my feet. One of the reasons that water recoveries have to be carried out as soon as possible.

As I worked the search patterns Hayden, the `lossee`, and Krista settled in to watch the worlds most boring spectator sport.
The high probability area yielded nothing and as both tide and night fell, I started to expand the search out to 20m…30m… back across the area they had been swimming.
Several hours and multiple overlapping grid patterns later, I was convinced it wasn’t where it was supposed to be (they almost never are).
The others had long since left me to it so I texted to advise a no-find… So far.

On the drive home, I replayed the search over and over in my mind. Re-analysing the circumstances of loss against the fact that the ring was not located despite a near 100% probability of detection over the entire swimming area.
Hayden said he had been sweeping his hand through the water, and he had felt it come off.
The ring had to have been airborne, unseen by Hayden – hidden among the water spray/droplets.
Stated to be ‘silver’, I have found that this can mean it just looks silver and can be anything from platinum, white gold, or titanium. All with very different densities and responses. As an example, if you had two rings in your hand, white gold and titanium, and threw them, the gold would travel much, much further than the titanium due to the greater mass.

How far would a ring go? The original search area had discounted the lighter titanium.

Back on the road early next morning for the hour drive to Taupo Bay again in order to catch the next tide. When I don’t find a ring it becomes a personal challenge. It’s partially this tenacity which enables me to find rings which others have tried for and given up, or missed, due to inexperience or unsuitable detectors.

I had the luxury of daylight and a large tide window this time.

Some time was spent painstakingly eliminating several dozen unlikely but must-be-confirmed signals in amongst a buried jumble of fragments of reinforced concrete and other ‘hot’ rocks with high metal content under the sand. All metal targets were proven to be trash.
Then I moved onto a wider area search based on a couple of underarm throws of my test rings – in the opposite direction to where they had been swimming.
30 minutes later I got a very clear silver tone – The scoop went in, and from 30cm under the sand on the edge of yesterdays rip current emerged Hayden’s lost sterling silver ring.

I love sending texts that simply say, “FOUND!” – They’re usually followed immediately after by my phone ringing with an excited and unbelieving voice at the other end 🙂

 

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.

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.

Keyfob Missing in Long Grass for Two Days at Doubtless Bay, Found.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)
It’s not always about reuniting a sentimental piece, sometimes it just avoids an unnecessary hassle and expense of replacement 🙂
Two days ago Gayle was showing some friends around the property.
In their travels she took her jacket off and tied it around her waist, the car fob safely inside the pocket…
When they returned to the house, Gayle realised the key fob was no longer in the jacket. Nor was it in the car, or to be seen on the nicely mown lawn – which meant it was somewhere along their route across the rough grass paddock, or one of several possible routes up and around a headland.
After retracing their steps with no luck, Gayle gave me a call.
I headed straight up as soon as I left work, and Gayle braved the rain to show me the route she thought they had walked.
A quick cursory sweep along the probable route yielded nothing other than an old beer can, tent peg and hinge spring, so I started the comprehensive search beginning at the area of highest probability.
Five minutes later, the detector gave a solid “this should be what you’re looking for” signal and I parted the grass to reveal the wayward keys.
Sitting end on, and tucked into the kikuyu thatch it would have been very difficult to spot by eye.
I held the keys up and Gayles face broke into a smile.

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 🙂