GeekyBeach Metal Detecting

GeekyBeach Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting & Lost Item Recovery

Category: Stories

Sentimental Ring Recovered in the Park

I received a call from a young lady who lost a sentimental ring that belonged to her late grandmother. It always tugs at my heartstrings when I hear from people…

metal detecting ring recovery

I received a call from a young lady who lost a sentimental ring that belonged to her late grandmother. It always tugs at my heartstrings when I hear from people who’ve lost something so special, and I definitely do what I can to help as a metal detectorist.

In this case, the loss was in an area where special permissions were needed in order to legally search. After a long wait, I finally received the “okay” that we needed. When I arrived, both the young lady and her mom were present and willing to get their own hands dirty in the search.

The grass was damp – the location was near a sprinkler head and it was the cause of the loss as well! A quick rinse in the powerful spray of the sprinkler caused the ring to fly off. When it happened, she searched the area including into a really massive shrub! But after multiple attempts to search, she thought it might be lost forever.

I started the search near the sprinkler head in question, and we started noticing a lot of trash signals that caused interference with each other. We pulled up the trash items just slightly below the surface, and we knew that the ring would likely be just below the surface as well.

After circling outward from the sprinkler, we checked under the shrub, but came up with only foil trash. We were about to call it quits – assuming that maybe someone had picked it up before we were able to search. But I know to always give it one more try.

Back near the sprinkler where we removed some trash signals, we had a fresh signal on the detector. I had the young lady check the spot carefully and I heard her gasp – “no way!” And just below the surface, likely stepped on when initially searching, was her grandmother’s ring. Here is just after that moment captured on video:

This young lady and her mom were both willing to get their hands dirty and it paid off. Even though she had searched the area herself many times before I was called out to help – she didn’t give up! It was a team effort that paid off.

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Tiny Gold Ring

I had the most adorable ring finding experience last week! A hopeful dad contacted me because his daughter accidentally lost her special baby ring while playing with a friend in…

I had the most adorable ring finding experience last week! A hopeful dad contacted me because his daughter accidentally lost her special baby ring while playing with a friend in the yard.

She wasn’t supposed to be playing with it, but we all remember being a kid and only doing what our parents said, right?! I shared a story about how I opened a collectible Barbie doll that was hiding in the closet when I was kid thinking I could repackage it so that mom would neeeever know. I was wrong. ; )

Both dad and daughter joined me to search their front yard. She even wanted to learn how to use my pinpointer to help me search! After a long, sweaty search, we were about to call it quits. Maybe the ring ended up somewhere else?

But I’ve learned over many past experiences that just when I’m about to give up, that’s when I need to give it another shot. Sure enough, about ten minutes into that last attempt…there it was, face down between the grass blades. The tiniest ring I’ve ever seen!

tiny gold ring

I had a hard time finding it because I was using an 11″ coil and it ended up being very close to the concrete driveway. It was a difficult process to carefully use the pinpointer to check along the perimeter, but it worked!

We all learn through these experiences as kids and even as adults. It’s okay – get out there and learn something new as a result!

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Hillside Ring Recovery

I received a call on the evening of Jan. 3, 2023 from a man whose wedding ring fell off on his property – a steep hillside home. He had searched…

I received a call on the evening of Jan. 3, 2023 from a man whose wedding ring fell off on his property – a steep hillside home. He had searched for a while and was hoping a metal detector would make the job easier.

It was already dark, but with an enormous winter storm predicted for the following day, there was a bit of urgency to find it quickly before heavy rain could wash it farther down the hill. Though it would be dark and the hill already damp from prior rain, I decided to venture out equipped with headlamps and hope.

What happened?

He was unloading groceries from the trunk of his car when the ring flew off his hand and started rolling down the driveway. He managed to see it happen and watched the ring, figuring it would stop on the concrete. Nope! His ring apparently had a daredevil streak – it launched itself off the concrete over the side of the road and down the hill next to the home.

I brought my Minelab CTX3030 and Equinox 800 (Minelab Metal Detectors ). When I arrived, he had assistance from three other men who were exploring the slope. As a transplant only one year ago from flatter than flat parts of the country, I’m still new to and intimidated by hills. I offered to give a quick lesson on the lightweight Equinox since they were far more adept with the hillside than I would be.

I set up the Equinox properly for the situation and target, and gave one of the gentlemen a crash course: easy…listen for the bleep! Then off he went down the hill while I checked out another spot that was easier to access. Within about 10 minutes or so, I heard the happy words: “Found it!”

Mens wedding ring shown in the hand of its owner after recovery on hillside.

My box lantern illuminates the owner’s hand after his ring was recovered.

Because they had all been searching for probably a couple hours, this was a major relief and exciting moment. I was particularly happy that even though I didn’t find it myself, I was able to bring the joy and excitement of metal detecting to another person. And of course relief to the ring owner!

It was a smart move by the ring owner to call someone with the right tool, and the experience to set it up quickly and properly for the situation.

This goes for many parts of life – not just for metal detecting. We can often feel like trying to handle obstacles on our own either personally or professionally. The additional help along with a metal detector made the recovery happen much quicker. And in my case, handing off the detector to someone with better hill skills!

There is perhaps no better example than asking you to imagine the last time you tried to DIY something in your home and it wasn’t as simple as you thought. Plumbing quickly comes to mind for me. I’m sure we all have examples from our professional lives as well.

In this case and so many others, it’s worth calling on your fellow villagers for assistance!

Lose something special? Call a RingFinder! RingFinders is a global directory of metal detectorists just like me who can help you recover lost metal objects.

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A Metal Detectorist is Never Off Duty

A neighbor, Carrie, posted on the social network NextDoor that she had lost a special pendant. It had belonged to her mom and she gave some details in her post…

A neighbor, Carrie, posted on the social network NextDoor that she had lost a special pendant. It had belonged to her mom and she gave some details in her post about where she was walking before noticing that it was missing.

“I was walking with my dog, and the area could include top, middle, and lower parking lots, benches behind the campus overlooking tennis courts and a pool, a loop around the back of the property, and back down to the parking lots.”

Whew…the area she mentioned was large – a big property with multiple buildings and places to walk and sit.

Because of the large possible search area, I didn’t feel confident that I’d have any luck. I wasn’t even sure that it would require a metal detector. But it was a beautiful day, so I decided it would be a nice place to walk and just keep my eyes open – no detector required.

I walked through the parking lots, up some stairs to buildings and I put myself in the shoes of someone walking their dog.

Not too long after arriving, I saw what I thought might be the benches she mentioned in her post. Thinking about how people generally sit down and mess around with clothing, removing purses and bags, I decided to check under and around the benches. I also knew to look THROUGH the bench slats in case it would be easier to see on the ground.

Wooden park bench with slats

Turns out…it did fall through…but not all the way! There it was – wedged in the slats just out of reach by hand. I was able to gently fish it out with my pocket knife and car key.

Pendant lodged inside a bench slat

I was so happy to call Carrie and get it back to her that evening. She was very happy, and teary-eyed as she told me that was a special bench for her and her mom. A place for her to always feel like she’s still with her even now that she’s passed.

I don’t always push myself to try things that don’t seem likely to work out, so this was a good reminder to go for it (and to have some faith in my eagle eyes.)

Missing necklace pendant recovered - hand showing the pendant

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How Metal Detecting Supports My Career in Technology

When I’m not metal detecting, you can find me working in the field of technology. Many people who are not familiar with metal detecting think that it must mean I’m…

When I’m not metal detecting, you can find me working in the field of technology. Many people who are not familiar with metal detecting think that it must mean I’m on a never-ending search for pirate treasure! More often, it means that I’m helping someone with a problem that requires a bit of … digging.

I often receive calls from people who have lost something special (like wedding rings, phones, you name it). In those moments, I have to put on my detective hat and grab my equipment. There’s my metal detector, of course, and scoops or shovels to do the digging, but I also have to dig into the story behind the loss.

Recovering Lost Items

man holds a wedding ring on the beach after recovered with a metal detector

A relieved husband holds his wedding ring after I recovered it on the beach!

Interacting with someone who has just lost a potentially expensive, cherished item involves asking lots of questions and being emotionally aware. I can’t be afraid to prod for as much as they can remember when their item went missing. In some cases, I have to help calm their nerves a little bit so they can think clearer. Sometimes I have to help them see that their memory may not be accurate!

In all cases, I put myself in their shoes: I walk the same path and imagine how they interacted with the environment. “Hmm…maybe they tripped over that rock and their item went flying into the leaf pile! … I’ll check it out.”

I am often able to reunite them with their lost item and the hugs and smiles in those moments are hard to beat. Other times we are both left with a mystery. In those moments, I always tell them to keep looking. Check all the odd places they’d never imagine (like this story with an unusual ring location!) It’s also healthy if they can come to terms with the loss, but still keep their eyes open just in case.

Thinking from the customer’s perspective

This isn’t too far from what I do in my work life. I love asking questions and thinking about how people behave. So this metal detecting hobby of mine allows me to flex the same muscles in a different way.

Working in technology requires a lot of thinking from someone else’s perspective. It also means talking to your audience directly and learning from their experiences. In the end, it’s all about improving an experience – a better website, a more effective system, a more entertaining mobile game, you name it.

If you’re looking for a problem-solver to join your business team, you might need a metal detectorist to help your business strike gold. 😉

Schedule a Meeting with Laura now!

An illustration of a work desk filled with books and paper, with a metal detector leaning against a desk chair.

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Is it in the trash?

In mid July, I was contacted by a couple who lives just about 15 minutes down the highway. The husband had lost his wedding band somewhere on their property, and…

In mid July, I was contacted by a couple who lives just about 15 minutes down the highway. The husband had lost his wedding band somewhere on their property, and they had reason to believe it might be in the trash.

The scene: Husband and wife were cooking dinner in the kitchen. Dealing with chicken, husband takes off ring for the nasty parts.

It was only later after the meal was over and the kitchen cleaned that he realized “oh no…where’s my ring??”
They spent all night looking for it and didn’t want to put the cans out for pickup unless they felt confident that his gold ring wasn’t in there, so they contacted me the next day to help!

I drove out to meet them, and we all searched through the contents of the trash looking for any potential gold signal from my metal detector.

During the process, it started looking like the ring wasn’t in the trash, so I went through my list of usual questions: Did they check the sink drain? Vacuum bag? Leftover containers? Other normal spots he might set it down?
They hadn’t found it anywhere. This was their last hope.

Unfortunately, we didn’t find it either. No signals in the trash that weren’t just foil. It’s always hard to leave without locating the ring. 🙁

A little over a month later I got a text message: “Hi Laura – happy to let you know we found the ring! It was tucked away in between the pages of a cookbook and feel out when we took it off the shelf.”

Even when you think you’ve exhausted all the possibilities, leave it to life to present you with the unexpected. And maybe a new favorite recipe.

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Claddagh Ring Recovered in Alameda, California

Trevor contacted me about losing a special anniversary ring on Robert Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda, California on June 6, 2022. It was a Claddagh ring – a traditional Irish…

Trevor contacted me about losing a special anniversary ring on Robert Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda, California on June 6, 2022.

It was a Claddagh ring – a traditional Irish ring in which a heart represents love, the crown stands for loyalty, and two clasped hands symbolize friendship. The couple each has one.

Trevor worked hard to piece together the details of where they were sitting, and approximately how far out in the water they were when it slipped off.

I’m so glad Trevor found my site and that I was able to recover it so it can continue being cherished. Always give it a try – you might have luck on your side! 🍀

❤️ 🧡 💛 💚 💙 💜 🖤

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Diamond Engagement Ring Recovered – Stinson Beach, California

Jillian contacted me about her engagement ring that went missing on the beach over the weekend. She had a great idea of where it might be and was able to…

Jillian contacted me about her engagement ring that went missing on the beach over the weekend. She had a great idea of where it might be and was able to direct me to the probable location.

She also took the initiative to call the lifeguard tower, local beach cafe, and anywhere else she could imagine it may have been lost. Smart!

I hit the road with my trusty Minelab metal detector and created a search grid on the beach. I like to use a “narrowing” approach when the area is fairly large. I marked off a perimeter and did some diagonal crosses and W patterns near the likely spots first. For example, she mentioned sitting fairly close to the dunes, but not on them. The dunes create a natural upward slope “chair” when sitting on the beach, so it would make sense for someone to set down a bag on the slope and have it tip over.

Within about an hour and a half, after pulling up every pop tab and piece of aluminum trash on the planet (at least that’s what it felt like!), I finally found her lovely gold diamond engagement ring! What a dazzler!! The bright sunny day made it sparkle. I let out an audible “YES!” for an audience of no one! But it was still thrilling.

I called her right away so she could breathe a little easier, and we met up later that evening to get it back on her hand where it belongs.

I enjoyed getting to know the happy couple and I wish them well on their upcoming wedding and travels. I’m glad they found The RingFinders and my website Geekybeach.com so I could help, and so happy it turned out positive.

Returning a special item is a great feeling and it’s a big part of what many metal detectorists enjoy about the hobby. Have you ever lost a valuable item? Be sure to contact me if you need help!

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Spreading the Metal Detecting Word: Detectorist

Recently, two local newspapers who were fascinated by the hobby of metal detecting and wanted to share stories with their readers contacted me for information. I was happy and humbled…

Recently, two local newspapers who were fascinated by the hobby of metal detecting and wanted to share stories with their readers contacted me for information. I was happy and humbled to share stories from my adventures so far, and perhaps do something additional: introduce others to the word “detectorist!”

Many are unfamiliar with the term, as we have often been referred to as “metal detectors,” but that describes our machine. We detectorists use metal detectors!

So I was happy to see the word appear in the headline for both articles. Those of us familiar with the word already may or may not like it – I’m curious what you think! The BBC show The Detectorists is another way that people outside of the hobby have learned more about what it is. Sure, there are the stereotypes, but those lovable characters were easy to bond with.

Do you use the word metal detectorist to describe yourself? Leave a comment below or message me to share your preference.

The Ark Newspaper story published March 9, 2022

See the Original Stories:
The Ark Newspaper: “Tiburon detectorist works to reunite people with their lost items” by Shayne Jones – March 9, 2022

Marin Independent Journal (requires login): “Tiburon metal detectorist reunites people with lost items” by Colleen Bidwill – February 19, 2022

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Uncovering History at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Just north of San Francisco, the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary overlooks 900 acres of open water that is closed from October 1 to March 31 each year to…

Lyford House

A Winchester bullet shell found on the beach property near the Lyford House.

Just north of San Francisco, the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary overlooks 900 acres of open water that is closed from October 1 to March 31 each year to serve as a sanctuary for migrating waterbirds. This beautiful property is maintained by the Center with trails and gardens that are open year round, summer camps, a youth conservation leadership program, and numerous volunteer opportunities.

As a metal detectorist, I’m interested in the history of the property which includes the Lyford House – a home originally located at Strawberry Point, moved by barge in December 1957 when threatened with demolition. Once owned by Benjamin Lyford (1841-1906) and Hilarita née Reed (1839-1908), it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

After speaking with the Center Director and obtaining permission to metal detect on Lani’s Beach lining the property, I am now cataloging my finds and learning more about the history of the property and its owners.

Beach metal detecting finds including a spoon, shoe buckle, and metal scraps

A group of finds from Lani’s Beach on the Audubon Center Property

Because this is not a tourist beach in the traditional sense, the items found on this property are more likely to be relics of another time or items washed up from Richardson Bay. Some items discovered so far include Winchester bullet shells dating from 1901-1920, what appears to be a shoe buckle, mystery pieces of metal, vintage lead fishing weights, pieces of a small statue, and more. I’m excited to see what turns up after I spend more time on the beach.

Close up view of a Winchester brand

Close up view of a Winchester brand “Repeater 1901” No. 12 shotshell headstamp. Manufactured between 1901 and 1920.

It would be no surprise that in the early 1900s this would be a good spot for hunting. So far I’ve found four of these shells on one small area of the beach along with some other smaller caliber shells as well.

Detail view of what may be a metal shoe buckle

Detail view of what may be a metal shoe buckle

Small bronze loop

Photo after finding a small bronze loop.

I encourage locals to volunteer at the Richardson Bay location, or plan a visit! Let them know that GeekyBeach sent you.

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