When Courtney Vidrine lost her $6,000 diamond engagement ring in the churning surf at Jacksonville Beach, Fla., last June she and her husband, Eric, accepted the harsh reality that the cherished jewelry was probably gone forever.
“She was reaching down and the ring fell off her finger and into the tide,” Eric Virdrine told CNN affiliate WJXT-TV. “We desperately thrashed at the water to try to find it, [but] we knew as soon as it hit the water it was pretty much gone.”
The Vidrines returned to the scene several times to renew their search, but the ring was nowhere to be found. Finally, the couple purchased a replacement ring and life went on.
Only a few days ago, amateur treasure hunter David Sielaff was combing a nearby beach with his metal detector when the device signaled a possible find. Sielaff first pulled a fishing sinker from the sand, but after he dug a bit deeper what emerged was Vidrine’s lost ring.
Fortunately, the ring was stamped with a trademark and serial number that linked the ring to the Vidrines. In short time, officials at the retail store where the ring was originally purchased contacted the surprised couple and arranged to reunite them with the ring.
The Vidrines met Sielaff at Jacksonville Beach, where a TV crew documented the emotional encounter. Courtney Vidrine, with her beloved ring back on her finger, presented Sielaff with a bottle of champagne and a card with a gift inside to thank the Good Samaritan for his honesty.
“We can’t thank you enough. Honestly, we were so shocked,” Courtney Virdrine said.
Courtney Vidrine told WJXT-TV that she will never forget the date the ring was lost. “It was June 1st, 2013,” she said. “I knew everything, like every minute of what happened, because it was so horrible.”