Florida man digs up buried treasure of a lifetime, gives it away after message finds him

Treasure hunter gives away his $4,000 bounty

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- - It was the find of a lifetime.

Buried treasure worth an estimated $4,000.

Now, the Port St. Lucie man who dug the lost bounty up, is giving it away.

In his free time, Michael Eplin on most days has headphones strapped to his head, a metal detector in his hands and the ocean to his back.

He is a man who is always on the hunt.

"You find fish hooks, sinkers, modern coins. No real significant treasure," said Eplin.

His drought of treasure came to an end recently.

Eplin was with his buddy combing Jensen Beach, when his machine blurted an ear-piercing ping.    

"We were out there for hours, walked miles and maybe had 36 cents between the two of us. And that literally was the last swing of the day," said Eplin.

Buried in the sand, a diamond encrusted ring shimmered in the sunlight.

Eplin took it to get appraised where he was told the ring could fetch $3,800.

"It definitely changed to, 'who's buying the coffee?' that day," said Eplin.

But after Eplin dug up the ring and had it appraised, he got a call from a fellow treasure hunter who had just been contacted by a couple with a sad story.

"I thought I was never going to see it again," said Diana Tapia, a Port St. Lucie resident.

Tapia was at the beach with her husband Jose and daughter Daniella. Tapia had taken her ring off to put on sunscreen. But she never put it back on, forgot and left the beach.
    
"It's not about the money. Even though it is a lot," chuckled Tapia.

Luckily for Tapia, Eplin is in it for the hunt and not the bounty.

"Usually people are like, 'we can't trust anyone out there.' So there's still good people out there," said Tapia.

After a series of questions to ensure the ring really belonged to Tapia, Eplin drover over and personally handed over his treasure.

"It's not the monetary value. It's just common courtesy. They're still, they're still my neighbors," said Eplin.

A treasure Eplin said will always be buried deep in his heart.
 

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