What would you do if you discovered a huge diamond ring on the beach? Would you look around for someone in distress? Would you notify the authorities? Should you sell it to a pawn shop or keep it for yourself? On Hammock Beach in St. Augustine, Florida, one man had to make that decision. A woman from Jacksonville, Florida had lost the diamond ring found on a beach. The finder, 37-year-old Joseph Cook, had been searching through the sand, which appears to be a common activity for beachgoers, as he has returned many of the items he has discovered. Cook estimates the total value of the items he’s returned this year to be $60,000…
So this is a common occurrence for Cook, but a platinum diamond ring discovered on a beach could easily have been used to his advantage. Cook, on the other hand, took to social media, writing, “If you know anyone who lost a platinum ring near st augustine. Tell them to contact me.” “Let’s get it back to them,” Cook continued. Please spread the word. “I’d like to return the other rings I discovered.” Cook, who goes by Joedigger on TikTok, posted the story:In an interview with Fox, a video Cook shared of when he found the ring shows him yelling “Whoa” in excitement at the ring discovered on a beach.
He tells reporters that his initial reaction was “Holy Cr**. Is that true? Just the sheer weight of it. I find a lot of rings, but that one was particularly heavy.” Cook told reporters that after discovering the ring, he contacted local jewelers to see if they had any reports of lost rings, but they did not. He even went into a jeweler and showed them the piece. “I just said, ‘That’s been sitting in my scooter for almost a week,” he said after the jeweler told him the ring was worth $40,000. It was unbelievable.” That’s when he took to social media with his message, hoping to return the ring found on a beach to its rightful owner.
Cook claims that he received calls from a Jacksonville, Florida number two weeks after the ring found on a beach was posted on social media. He didn’t answer at first because the number was unfamiliar to him. Calls from the Jacksonville number, on the other hand, persisted, and he stopped ignoring them, which is when he realized he might be speaking with the owner of the $40 platinum ring. The caller was the owner’s husband, and Cook and his family set up a Facetime video call so Cook could confirm it was the owner.
Cook showed the ring after confirmation, and the reaction was ecstasy. “They were pretty happy,” Cook said. “The wife was on a Facetime call when she said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it,’ and then she burst into tears.” Cook and the husband met a few days later at a nearby hotel, and the ring found on a beach was returned to its rightful owner. Cook told Fox New reporters after the ring was returned, “Karma’s always good. Every time I return an item, I find something better — so I’m glad I was able to return it.” Cook’s actions astounded those who saw the story. “Better than me,” said one TikTok user who saw the story. What is lost is found, and what is discovered is owned.”
On Cook’s post to TikTok, many congratulated him on his honorable actions saying things like, “You are the best Joe,” “well done Joe,” and “You’re a great guy. More people like you are needed.” “You are a good dude brother keep on keepin’ on,” Joe’s brother wrote. “I enjoy all of your content.” “It feels so awesome to be appreciated,” Joe responded. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve never asked for anything. “All the smiles and love in the world are more than enough for me.”