By the water, under a bright blue sky, you’ll find David Stone of Onset. But it’s not what he’s looking for, but what he does with his finds that sets him apart. You see, Stone has a bigger jewelry box than most guys you know, several, in fact. All filled with treasures he found buried just beneath the sand and surf.
“After we went to the Turks, I think it was probably around 2001, while snorkeling, my daughter happened to find a ring at the snorkel park. It might have been stainless steel, it might have been platinum, we’ve still never been sure of that, and it dawned on me, wow, would be fun. This was like metal detecting, but if they make one that goes in the water, this is where the action is,” Stone says.
Stone found his underwater detector, worth around $1200 bucks, and set out scavenging. While he travels a lot, and spends most of the year in Turks and Caicos, Stone summers back in Massachusetts, and often combs the sandy shores of Onset and Parkwood beaches. Along with old coins, he finds a lot of custom jewelry, but the problem, is finding who these special pieces belong to.
“I started to think about a way to do this on the internet, and I started looking at Internet names, and lost jewelry, lost rings were all taken up, and I just started playing around and I came up with ilostmyjewelry.com and that was available,” Stone says.
The website was born, and filled with the rings, bracelets and baubles he finds in his travels, hoping to return to sender, these sentimental pieces.
“I might say, you know, if your name is Jean, and you married, Louis, and you lost a wedding ring, tell me how it’s engraved and the date, and you can tell me where you lost it, I’m happy to get it back to you,” Stone says.
His most frequent find, men’s wedding rings. The names and words scrolled inside sometime are the only clues to help identify the rightful owners. Stone has found it all, diamonds, big gold chains, and thousands of dollars worth of platinum. And while finding your jewelry is exciting, Stone says, finding you is his ultimate goal.
“The best part is the feeling that somebody’s gotten it back, I mean, people are in tears, I’m in tears, it’s really helping somebody,” Stone says.
But that’s the tough part, Stone says out of around 200 pieces of quality jewelry he’s found, he’s only reunited a couple dozen people with their missing jewels. That’s why he hopes he can spread the word about the website, and get the only thing he asks for as repayment.
“The mandatory one is, I want to take a photograph, or have you send me a photograph of you with the ring, you know, so that I can put it on the website and people will realize that hey, he really will get it back to us. The other one that’s not so mandatory is, you’ve got to not wear it in the water any more, you leave it at home,” Stone says.