Sara Lopez of Miami, Florida, can rest easy now that her sentimental ring honoring her late son, David Lopez, is back on her finger.
Lopez had the ring made after her son died in a motorcycle accident three years ago.
"It happened in December 2014. We were very close," she told ABC News of her 22-year-old only child.
The heartbroken mother gifted herself the unique ring featuring both of their names and birthstones after his passing, to keep his memory alive. It’s a tradition she began to help celebrate special occasions and holidays in his absence.
“Mostly it’s Mother’s Day and Christmas, or my birthday,” said Lopez, 57. “If I see something that I think he would like me to have, or something that reminds me of a gift he would give me, I go ahead and purchase it. Things that remind me of him I like to keep close to me.”
Lopez said the ring slipped off her finger at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, that was her son’s favorite spot.
“It bothered me that I lost it,” she said.
She consoled herself thinking it was her son’s way of staying at the beach forever.
“My son loves the place we’d go to and spend time as a family,” she said. “I probably lost it because he wants to have that ring lost there in the ocean or in the sand. I figured, ‘That’s it, I’ll probably never find it.’”
The very next day however, on July 22, Beth Andres said her daughter Samantha found the ring in the sand.
“She was digging her toe in the sand and said, ‘Mom look what I found,’” Andres, 42, recalled. “I knew it may have been sentimental.”
After posting a picture of the ring to social media where it was shared as far as the United Kingdom, several people suggested in comments that Andres contact Jewlr.com, the jeweler who originally made the special setting. The savvy Andres logged onto the site to recreate Lopez’s exact ring, saved it to her checkout cart and called the company to give them the reference number so they would understand the design to search.
“I wanted to be able to be super specific and let them take a look at what the ring exactly looked like,” she explained. “That narrowed down their search a lot.”
“Each jewelry order is unique; we narrowed down our search with personalization details on the ring, including engravings and stones,” Nick Hajicosti, a spokesperson for Jewlr.com, wrote to ABC News. “Once we found a potential match, we contacted the customer and she confirmed the ring was lost.”
The company then connected Andres and her daughter with Lopez, who was extremely grateful and thankful for their efforts.
“It really touched me,” said Lopez. “I can’t believe people would actually take their time to go above and beyond to return the ring.”
The overjoyed mother said she thinks losing the ring was her son’s way of playing a joke on her.
“Oh he was a jokester,” Lopez said of David. “The first thing I thought was, I looked up in the sky and I said, ‘I can’t believe you actually had somebody go through this to help me find this ring.’ I didn’t even know where to begin to search for this. I was just very thankful that there are still some good people out there that would help get it returned.”