FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It was right there with the spare change, $100 bills, a gold coin and piles of mud under the outdoor deck of a Fort Lauderdale restaurant — a wedding ring.
Now it is has been reunited with the owner three years after he lost it on vacation.
While serving takeout meals during the coronavirus pandemic, Coconuts manager Ryan Krivoy was replacing the wooden deck on the restaurant's patio.
"We were cleaning up the debris down there and we noticed a bit of a sparkle, and we picked up a ring," he said. "Once we washed it off we realized there was an engraving on the inside."
The engraving read "Mike & Lisa 08-21-15." That is when some of the staff started their quest to find the owner.
"We took to Facebook and basically put the post up as a long shot," said marketing manager Sasha Formica. "That was on Monday, and on (Thursday) Lisa called the restaurant."
The post had been shared about 5,000 times, and it found its way to the married couple who live in New York. "She called and said, 'You're not going to believe this, but I'm Lisa,' " Formica said.
Lisa texted pictures of the ring and of she and her husband eating at Coconuts in 2017 to prove she was the owner. The wedding band had slipped off her husband's greasy fingers and rolled between the wooden floorboards, she said.
The ring was not the only treasure buried under the deck, Krivoy said. "We found a lot of change, obviously, but as we're cleaning off the change we actually found a gold coin," he said. "After doing a little research, it was a quarter eagle (coin) from 1855."
The coins were minted with a value of $2.50 but they now range from $200 to more than $2,000, according to various estimates. "We found a couple of $100 bills," he added. "I don't know how those got down there."
Krivoy plans to put the treasures in the tip jar to share with the staff. The wedding ring was sent back to the couple Friday via certified mail, he said.