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Couple sends thanks to stranger who found engagement ring

December 21 is a day to remember for Lauren and Nick Richardson.

"We were actually celebrating our 2nd year anniversary," Lauren said.

That's one reason why. Another reason is what happened on their second anniversary.

"We came out to the beach," she said.

The couple from England was visiting family in Manatee County. They had rented a beach house and were celebrating their anniversary and Christmas.

The family was at the 65th Beach Access Way on Anna Maria Island when Lauren slipped off her wedding rings.

She put them in the cup holder of their beach wagon and went for a swim.

When Lauren returned she saw sand in the wagon. She dumped it over and realized the mistake she had made.

"We all got on our hands and knees searching for the rings," she said.

Her wedding ring and engagement ring had vanished into the sand. As Lauren and her family searched a crowd gathered with people offering to help.

Some ran back to their homes and grabbed colander and sifters to go through the sand. They were able to find her wedding band, but her diamond engagement ring was still missing.

"It wouldn't have been the same if we would have had to replace it," she said.

The next morning a volunteer from a local metal detecting group scanned the sand with no luck.

"We were going to call it quits and we weren't going to find it," she said.

Then they learned a man with a metal detector had been spotted going over the area. It was a long shot, but they began searching for him.

"He was just going quickly up and down the beach and that's when we saw him," said Nick.

It was just the luck they needed.

"Low and behold he had found it the day before and it was in his wallet," said Lauren.

Lauren and Nick went to tell their family.

They returned and searched for the man to thank him with a gift, but he was already gone.

They don't know his name but know he was visiting from Delaware and they just wanted to say one thing.

"Thank you so much. You made our Christmas," said Lauren.