Russell Tag | The Ring Finders

Valuable Heirloom Gold Ring Lost for 6 Weeks, Found in Compost Pile

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Maureen habitually took off her heirloom ring in the kitchen, a beautiful gold, diamond and emerald ring handed down from her Grandmother.
One day, she caught up the ring as she swept the peelings off the benchtop into the bin.

She didn’t realise until later when she went to collect the ring and noticed it was no longer in its place.

A frantic search yielded no sign of it, and with subsequent searches over the next few weeks she narrowed it down to either having been thrown out with the rubbish, or buried in the compost.

She gave me a call, obviously there was nothing I could do in the worst case scenario of it going out in the rubbish collection, however I could search the compost (I’ve searched through far worse than domestic compost in the past!).

A quick scan with the high powered machine gave a target deep in the bin, could be a ring, or could be foil.
Only one way to find out, roll up the sleeves and on with the nitrile gloves.

I had a rough idea of where it sat inside the compost and it was well down after six weeks of additional food scraps and lawn clippings.
A dense cloud of fruit flies instantly erupted out of the compost as I scooped most of the recent material away and investigated deeper with the handheld probe.

Wasn’t long before I had pinpointed the location and I dug further into the slimy mass, checking each handful until I caught a glimpse of gold in the ooze.

I lifted it out and showed a tearful Maureen.
A quick rinse under the garden tap and it shone brightly once again, no worse off for it’s little adventure and another story added to its hundred-plus history.

Engagement and Wedding Ring lost in Sea at Russell, NZ – Ring Finder Saves the Day

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Jan phoned me last night, quite distressed.
She had just been swimming off the beach at Russell when her wedding ring slipped off her finger.
She momentarily glimpsed it on the gravelly seabed and did a ‘duck-dive’ to grab it.  Her gold and diamond engagement also slipped off – Disaster!

Repeated attempts to grab either ring were fruitless and she came ashore, leaving her treasured and sentimental rings out in the Bay.

Dejected, she made her way to Butterfish Restaurant for a drink to calm down, when one of the bar staff mentioned my service.  She called and asked, “Could I help?”

Of course.

Now, Russell beach is a very steep and mobile beach. The bulk of it is made up of pea-sized gravels which move with each wave.  This highly mobile, almost fluid gravel beach ‘Eats’ rings!

I arranged to meet Jan first thing the following morning to catch the next tide.

Early start next morning and I arrived to see Jan ready to meet me.
I had calculated the tidal heights and knew that I would be getting wet, but I cleared the exposed beach first – Assume Nothing, Believe No-one, Check Everything.

As expected, no rings were found and I moved out into the water, my feet sinking over the ankles in the soft gravels – I’ve been here before… It’s never an easy recovery.

I did about three or four passes along the beach, getting deeper and deeper.

A whisper in the headphones caught my attention. This wasn’t another fleck of copper, or one of the many thousands of can pull tabs or bottle caps that infest this beach. The whisper said, “dig me…”

The hole refilled as soon as the scoop came out, missed it! Next time I sent the scoop deep, easily 40cm down and cut it back under the target. Heaving several kilos of gravel out ensured I had it.

After much sifting, a gold ring slowly emerged out of the gravel! I held it up to Jan, her face lit up and she started walking down the beach.

Now for number two.
I knew it was nearby, and how deep in the gravel it would be. In a few seconds I had located and captured it.

Both rings accounted for, I waded ashore.
Job done.

Ring Lost at Long Beach, Russell, Found by Metal Detectorist

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Dave posted on the local Russell Facebook group that he had lost his gold wedding ring in the sea at Long Beach in Russell while on holiday.

Several people recommended me to him, and he made contact.

He had unfortunately put a detailed location on Facebook, not a good idea these days as there are a lot of what I call “Ring Collectors” – less altruistic sorts who look for social media posts with the intention of an easy find for themselves.   Urgency was paramount, only the other day, I had a ring ‘sniped’ after a Facebook post gave away too much. Nothing is more heartbreaking than turning up for a recovery only to see a recent focused grid pattern in the immediate area – and no ring.

I had an ongoing scuba recovery in progress, however that ring was very secure where it was, I needed to find Dave’s ring before it was lost.  The timing of the tides meant I was able to make the first attempt immediately and I spent a few hours gridding the area Dave had indicated in his FB post.  When I came out of the water, the tide was high enough to prevent ‘magpies’ from searching, and I knew I would have to return the following day on the next tide.

Had some more dialog with Dave that night about the circumstances of loss, and gave him a much higher resolution aerial view for him to mark where he thought he lost it.

The new area marked by Dave was smack in the middle of my first grid, it was fairly unlikely I had missed it – and even more unlikely someone had randomly happened across it in the 24Hrs between loss and Dave’s post. There are several obvious large rocks on the seabed, which Dave could not recall seeing. That meant he was further over than he thought. I started planning a new search area off to the side.

Day 2: I again arrived well before low tide in order to secure ‘my patch’, there was another metal detectorist in the vicinity, although he did not have a submersible machine. Straight down the beach and into the surf…

Another hour and a pouch full of aluminium trash later, I got a hit under the coil – only to lose it again as a breaking wave knocked me off my feet. However it wasn’t long before I had it again, and on the second scoop the coil was silent.  I shook the sand out of the scoop and nestled in amongst the broken shell, was Dave’s ring.

Back to the car, and I sent him a picture to let him know it was now safe soon to be couriered to him.

Phone Lost in Russell, Found in Dense Scrub

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Jimmy contacted me as his houseguest had lost his phone in some scrub near Russell.

He had been helping him clear invasive trees from a steep and very overgrown hillside, with his phone ‘safe’ in a leg pocket, secured by a hefty press-stud.

At some stage in his wanderings and stumblings through the dense undergrowth, the press stud on the pocket had been caught and come undone – The phone likely found its way out shortly after. “Murphys Law” came into play with zero reception, so his attempts to ring or otherwise locate the phone were futile.

The going was very tough with a large coil, negotiating the many trees lying where they had fallen, in places the branches meant I couldn’t get closer than a metre or more to the ground surface so I focussed on clearing the more accessible areas with the big coil and the machine running in full sensitivity for the merest whisps of a signal. Constant impacts from branches and vegetation, coupled with the mineralisation of the ground made the machine extremely “chatty”.  It took all my focus to decipher the barrage of sounds, whilst trying to stay upright negotiating the steep slippery ground, fallen branches and trunks.

I was already planning on how I would go about searching the area with the small 6″ coil on a special wireless rig I custom made for such scenarios, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the many potential hours this recovery might take. However it was a tightly defined – albeit extremely difficult,and relatively large – area, so I knew it was just a matter of getting a coil close enough to pick up the missing phone.

I worked my way through the gorse and scrub, and in one area where several trees had been felled, I got a faint, but repetitive signal coming from under a trunk.

Placing the machine down, I slipped my arm in through the tangle of branches and stretched my fingers out under the fallen trunk.

It was with great satisfaction that I felt my hand close around a shape and glassy texture definitely not encountered in nature.  After facing a potentially very slow and intricate search across the hillside, I was possibly more relieved than the owner!

Watch Lost on Russell Lifestyle Block – Found

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Timely engagement of an experienced Ringfinder using state of the art equipment will always give you the very best chances of recovering your item, and all the irreplaceable memories and sentiment it holds.

Last weekend, Nathalie was dismantling an old chicken run on their rural lifestyle block near Russell. Having already snagged her gold watch that day, she thought it prudent to remove it and place it in the overalls pocket for safekeeping.
And forgot all about it.

Later she realised she hadn’t put the watch back on, so went to the overalls only to find the pocket empty.
One lost watch.

She recalled that at one stage, her friend had picked up the overalls and slung them over her shoulder as she headed away from the house and across a marshy area to where the new chicken run was being built. In doing so, a pencil fell from the pocket which her friend picked up before carrying on along the track through the marsh.

Had it fallen out when the overalls were thrown over the shoulder? Along the narrow overgrown track through the marsh? Or even before that?

They all had a search around the property before Nathalie called me. She wasn’t ready to engage the services of a Ringfinder at this stage, so I gave her some tips as to where it might be, and how she might find her lost watch.
She headed straight out into the rainy night with a torch to try and locate it, and tried again the following morning.

The watch remained missing.

Nathalie contacted me again that afternoon and conceded defeat – Would I please come and find it for her?
Of course.

The next morning, I boarded the car ferry to Russell to conduct the search.
On arrival, Nathalie went through the timeline and actions. The areas involved were quite overgrown with dense grass, scrub, and reeds in the marsh. Complicating the issue were numerous metal structures, odd buried bits of metal and chicken mesh being reclaimed by the grass.

I initially did a cursory sweep of her travels with the large coil, however there were too many conflicting targets. I had to switch to the tiny 6″ coil in order to pick my way through the background chatter. Also focussing on my Search & Rescue tracking and scene processing skills to assess where people had actually travelled in each area.
Not too easy given the disturbed grass was already springing back to it’s natural position, enhanced by the previous days warm and heavy rains accelerating regrowth.

I systematically covered each of the three key areas: Where the overalls had been slung on the shoulder, the subsequent path through the marsh, the newly built chicken run, and the original site of the old chicken run.

It was at the latter, when I started expanding the search area away from the centre, that I got a positive tone in the headphones.
I couldn’t see anything, so fired up the pinpointer and pressed it into the grass – It chattered away…as it had done many times that day (so many times…. only to be a nail or shotgun pellet).
This time though, I parted the grass to see a glint of gold, the shiny surfaces reflecting the yellow-green of the grass as though it was actively trying to camoflage itself.

I marked the location and wandered back to the house, ” Would you like to come for a walk?”
I led her down to where the watch lay, and pointed to where it was. She couldn’t see it.
A few hints were needed to guide her to it, and she was amazed at how invisible it was. Nathalie took a photo before she pulled it from the grass where it had lain for three days. “Four of us searched this area!”.

Without the SAR tracking skills and solid experience in recoveries, this could have been a very long search, and probably even unsuccessful for an inexperienced person, given the huge potential area, extensive background noise and multiple interaction locations.

 

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.

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 🙂

 

 

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

 

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.

 

Lost Gold Signet Ring in the Sea at Russell – Found After Three Years of Searching!

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

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

Three years ago, Connor was swimming at Long Beach near Russell and he felt his gold signet ring slip off his finger.
This was a one-off piece, well sort of, as each of the family had one made with the family crest embossed into it. Effectively irreplaceable.

I met with Connor at the time and spent some hours looking for it in the surf and on the beach, however came back empty handed.

It was highly unlikely a casual detectorist had found it in such a short time, so it had to have gone deep with the sand movement.
It became a thorn in my side, knowing it was there…
Any time I was in Russell since then, I had a look at the beach – Some days the sea and sand were favourable so I spent a few more hours looking. As I do with any outstanding recovery.
Other days, there was obviously a lot of deep sand overburden, so any attempt wouldn’t be productive.
About three weeks ago, I stopped by as had become habit (bordering on obsession) whenever I was on the peninsula.
I saw a very shallow and subtle shift in the beach contour so I kitted up.
The first hole produced a very old and white-oxidised lead sinker, this looked promising – but had someone else beaten me to it with the ring?
Second signal was a clean low tone, but very faint. I dug the scoop in deep, but the signal remained in the hole.
Second scoop took me down to around 40cm deep, the hole was silent so whatever it was, was in the scoop.
Expecting another sinker, I shook the sand out of the scoop in the water, looked in and there was a beautiful orangey-yellow of gold, just starting to get that water-aged tone.

Three years… and fifteen days, after it had been lost.

I emailed Connor that night with a photo. His reply was that of amazement, disbelief, and lots of exclamation marks.

Today he drove up from Auckland, and I handed his family ring back to him, smiles and handshakes aplenty.

I sat in the car afterwards, and put a line through his entry in my little black book and wrote, with immense satisfaction,

FOUND! 11/02/21