JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – When Courtney Vidrine lost her engagement ring in the surf last year at the beach, she thought it would never be seen again.
"I remember it so vividly. I told the people at Tiffany's it was June 1, 2013. I knew everything, like every minute of what happened because it was so horrible," said Courtney Vidrine.
Courtney and her husband, Eric, were walking in the surf last summer when she reached down into the water. She never expected her engagement ring would just slip off her finger into the ocean.
"She was reaching down, the ring fell off her finger into the tide and we desperately thrashed at water, and we knew it was gone," Eric Vidrine said, explaining how his wife's Tiffany engagement ring was lost.
Eric bought Courtney a new engagement ring and the couple moved on with life, thinking the original ring might never be found. The Vidrines' tale of the lost engagement ring was a sad one to tell, until a few days ago, when David Sielaff took his metal detector out to the beach.
"I was using the metal detector and it was high tide," said Sielaff.
Sielaff found a coin and some other metal on the beach that day, and then he found a ring. After looking at the ring, Sielaff realized there was a serial number on it, the number placed on the ring by Tiffany & Co. when it was made.
Sielaff headed to the Tiffany & Co. store in Jacksonville to try to get some answers. He had no idea what he would find out, but he hoped that he'd at least find the owners of the ring. Within minutes, employees were able to connect the ring's serial number to Eric Vidrine's original purchase.
Tiffany & Co. then contacted the Vidrines about the ring. Immediately upon getting the phone call, the Vidrines wanted to meet the good Samaritan who found their lost ring and turned it in.
Friday night, Eric and Courtney Vidrine met David Sielaff for the first time.
"I'm Courtney. We can't thank you enough."
"Tried to find you all and eventually with a little help of the staff at Tiffany, and that's why we're here today," said Sielaff.
"We can't thank you enough, we're so shocked," said Courtney Vidrine. "We thought it would be found eventually, but not this soon and certainly not by someone as honest as you are. I can't thank you enough. I really can't."
The Vidrines gave David Sielaff a bottle of Champagne and a card with a gift inside to thank him for his honesty and for returning their long-lost treasure.
"Everyone we tell the story to are even more shocked, because first thing they say is, 'Why did he?' More shocked that you were so honest," said Courtney Vidrine.
In another coincidence, when Tiffany & Co. in the St. Johns Town Center contacted the Vidrines about the ring, the couple was actually shopping at the Town Center and was able to pick up the ring immediately.