While walking on the beach you stumble on a valuable object buried in the sand — say, a piece of jewelry or an envelope full of cash. What do you do with it? Under what circumstances would you keep it?
I actually found once a ring on the floor in my street. It was a golden ring with a black stone and a seal carved on it. Very distinctive. I noticed that the seal was a coat of arms and imagined that the ring had a significant sentimental value for his or her owner.
I went with it to the police and they redirected me to the lost objects section. They told me that if nobody reclaimed the object in one year, I had the right to keep it. It was a good deal, I thought. I even published a short advertisement in the local paper and the local radio station saying that I had found the ring and where it was. Nothing.
One year later, when I already had forgotten the incident, they called me from the lost objects office to tell me that the owner never showed up so I could go to retrieve the ring. I sold it later because I didn’t like it. So I had a little extra money, always welcomed.
I guess that if I find something valuable again, I’ll do the same. Go to the police and wait. It’s the right thing to do, and if the owner never shows up, you always get the chance to keep whatever you’ve found. It works. At least where I live.