They found a gold ring while snorkeling in Key West. Now they want to find its owner

It’s a simple band of gold, this ring. Nothing fancy. You’ve seen hundreds of them over the years.

But Mike and Shelly Strickland, who found the ring on a recent vacation to Key West, have a feeling it means the world to someone. And they’ve vowed to find the person who wore it.

“I don’t care how long it takes,” Shelly said over the telephone Thursday.

It turned up at the bottom of the shallow waters surrounding Key West. Mike found the gold band last week while snorkeling with his 12-year-old son Colton at Archer Key – and while being chased by a barracuda, his wife adds.

“We were swimming around and I just happened to look down and it gleamed,” said Mike. “At first I found a gold earring and it turned out to be fake.”

“It was uncovered, just laying there,” Mike said of the ring. “It was only about six feet so I swam down and got it.”

The Georgetown, Kentucky couple posted about in on Facebook and it’s been shared more than 69,000 times, as of Friday. Plenty of people have tried to claim it. And a few Lord of the Rings jokes have turned up in the comments, which number more than 8,800.

The ring bears only one clue: the name Cecilia engraved inside the band along with a date listed in the order of day, month and year. The Stricklands haven’t disclosed the date in order to find the person who last wore it. It measures almost a size 11, the couple said.

The search, however, has become time-consuming and the Strickland family has weeded out many phonies.

“You have no idea how many people have tried to claim that ring,” Shelly said.

Shelly, an office manager at a doctor’s office, became overwhelmed by monitoring the Facebook post so she enlisted her daughter Sydney, 23, to help.

“Some people have been throwing out random dates,” Shelly said. “My daughter got in there and said this is serious. We want to get the rightful owner.”

Some people have suggested to the Stricklands that the ring landed at the bottom of the ocean for a reason – perhaps it was tossed away by a rejected lover or the product of a bitter divorce. Someone has theorized it was put there along with someone’s ashes as a memorial.

“Maybe they did, but maybe they lost it,” Shelly said. “We’d like to find the rightful owner. We’d love to give it to them.”