ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA — Alerts went off on Joseph Cook's metal detector while combing through the sand on Hammock Beach in St. Augustine. As he sifted through the sand, he was shocked to find a diamond engagement ring set in platinum.
“Look at that bad boy,” Cook said on the video released by SWNS documenting his discovery. “This is the biggest diamond I [have] ever found on the beach,” he added.
Instead of bringing the ring to a pawn shop, Cook called local jewelry stores to ask if anyone may have lost a ring nearby. One jeweler appraised the ring at $40,000. Surprised, Cook said the treasure had been sitting in his scooter for over a week – he couldn't believe the diamond ring was worth that much.
Two weeks later, Cook got a phone call from a number he didn't recognize. He ignored the first few attempts, but the caller was persistent. Finally, when Cook answered the phone, the ring's owner was on the other end.
The Jacksonville couple, who lived a few miles from where Cook found the ring, got his number from the jewelry store. When Cook got on FaceTime with the couple, the wife began to cry when she saw that it was her missing ring.
Cook said this is not the first time he's found a missing object of great value. So far this year, Cook has returned $60,000 worth of items, including the platinum diamond ring.
According to Cook, every time he returns an item, he finds something better – so he’s happy he could give it back.