Diamond Ring Worth $40K Found on Florida Beach, Returned to Owner Just Miles Away

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

A man looking through the sand on a St. Augustine, Florida beach discovered quite the find: a diamond ring valued at $40,000.

Joseph Cook was searching through the sand on Hammock Beach in St. Augustine in October when he found the diamond ring set in platinum. 

Cook posted videos to his social media, saying he was incredibly shocked at the discovery.

“Look at that bad boy,” he wrote. “This is the biggest diamond I [have] ever found on the beach.”

Instead of taking it to a resale store, the 37-year-old called around at local jewelry stores to see if anyone might have lost a ring. After not hearing anything, he then went to a jeweler. The jeweler gave him some stunning news: the ring was worth $40,000. 

“I just said, ‘That’s been sitting in my scooter for almost a week’ — I couldn’t believe it,” he said. 

Just two weeks after that, Cook started receiving phone calls from a number he didn’t recognize. 

After ignoring them for a while, he decided to answer one of the times the number called him.

The caller ended up being the ring owner from Jacksonville, Florida. Cook and the owner got on a FaceTime video call to check if the ring was in fact the person’s missing item.

Cook said the wife, when she saw the ring, was completely overjoyed.

“They were pretty happy. The wife was on a FaceTime call, and she just said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it,’ and then she just started crying,” he said. 

Joseph Cook Meets Couple When Returning Diamond Ring

Cook and the couple met three weeks after he found the ring. There, he returned the item to them. 

Cook said this wouldn’t mark the first time he actually found someone’s precious missing item. He reported that he’s returned $60,000 worth of items, this year alone.

“Karma’s always good. Every time I return an item, I find something better — so I’m happy I could give it back,” he said.

However, most people don’t realize there’s actually an official name for the practice of searching for missing or lost items like jewelry on a beach. The practice is referred to as “beach combing.”

The beachcomber’s favorite tool is the metal detector, which Cook used when he found the missing diamond ring.

Beachcombing doesn’t always mean hunting for items like jewelry or coins. It can encompass a wide range of materials that could be considered valuable.

For instance, in the 1970s, there used to be a popular Canadian family television drama called The Beachcombers. The show revolves around a two-man business salvaging logs from beaches.

Nowadays, beachcombers can be found across the country, and luckily for this couple, Joseph Cook was there to save the day.