Do the Right Thing: Return a Massive Diamond Ring

January 5 2011, 10:30 AM

While Mark Epple of Minnesota was on a ski vacation in Colorado last February, he found a sparkling, yellow diamond ring—comprised of a whopping 12 carats—on the curb at the Eagle County airport. Epple, an architect who was flying out of the airport with his wife, assumed the ring was costume jewelry when he picked it up and put it in his pocket. But when he got home and inspected it, he realized it might be the real thing and called the airport. That was a relief to the owner, Janis Ward, who received the ring from her husband, Roger, on their 30th wedding anniversary. The couple, on their way home to Miami, had been at the airport only moments before Epple, who said he returned the ring to help teach his children to do the right thing.

"If you return something that belongs to somebody else, you shouldn't expect to have rewards," Epple tells The Associated Press. But Roger Ward felt otherwise, describing Epple's honesty as "extraordinary." After finding out that Epple, a passionate skier, had been laid off, Ward offered to let the couple stay at his ritzy part-time home in Cordillera, near Vail and Beaver Creek resorts, around Christmastime, writes 9News.