Jewelry worth $32,000 will be hidden around New Jersey for local residents to find as part of Devon Fine Jewelry's fourth annual "Finders Keepers" promotion.
The Wyckoff jewelry store's owner, Nancy Schuring, is a believer in giving back to the community.
“I started Devon Fine Jewelry 33 years ago,” she said. “About four years ago we stumbled on this idea to thank our customers for their patronage.”
The jewelry will be placed in Devon Fine Jewelry bags with an orange card reading “Finders Keepers."
The bags will be hidden throughout 11 towns in Bergen County as well as one item in Hawthorne – Schuring’s hometown.
Five bags will be hidden in Mahwah and Ramsey.
Each day at the specified times, an “elf” will go to a location to hide a bag. As soon as it's hidden, a clue will appear on the website and on Facebook. There will be early morning time slots as well as evening time slots so that any one can participate.
The first piece of jewelry will be hidden on Monday morning.
“At the stroke of 9:15 it’ll go up on Facebook. Last year, within two to five minutes we had people finding the bags,” Schuring said.
She explained that last year the clues gave three towns where the item could possibly be hidden along with each clue. This year, there will be no hints about the town so that it will be a little more of a challenge.
“They were too smart, they were way too clever,” Schuring laughed.
In previous years, the reactions of the finders made the whole treasure hunt worth it.
“We would watch the bag and then we’d want to talk to the person,” Schuring said. “The stories were very addictive. You know, somebody had lost their sister and they felt their sister guided them to the bag, and somebody lost their job and then they found this present for their girlfriend. It was very heartwarming.”
Stories about the finders from the past four years, along with pictures of the jewelry being hidden this year, can be found on Devon Fine Jewelery’s website.
“It’s very rewarding because we’re thanking the community for their trust and their patronage,” Schuring explained. “Someone might come across it [who wasn’t even trying to look for it.] That’s the beauty of it — it’s just going to be out there… 33 items totaling $32,000 are going to be out there for free.”
The local community has been extremely grateful for the treasure hunt in years past, said Schuring, who hopes that this year will be just as extraordinary.
“It’s been a wonderful promotion. We feel so heartened about doing it that’s why we keep doing it, because the reactions of people [are so great.] Last year we had mothers and children looking for the bags and mothers would even write us and say, ‘Thanks for doing that because I had a really fun week with my child.’”
Schuring remembered another touching story.
“One year we had a mother and son who had both lost their jobs overnight. One day, on Tuesday, he finds it in Hawthorne. Thursday she finds it in Wyckoff — mother and son.”
One year, a local business owner from Midland Park put the jewelry she found in her deli as a raffle in order to raise money for a different cause. Schuring said that that’s why it is such a unique and goodhearted event.
“You can keep it, share it, wear it," Schuring said. "Whatever you want to do.”
The schedule for the treasure hunt is:
- 9:15 a.m. – Monday
- 11:15 a.m. – Monday
- Noon – Tuesday
- 1 p.m. – Wednesday
- 5:30 p.m. – Wednesday
- 4 p.m. – Thursday
- 11 a.m. – Friday
- 3:30 p.m. – Friday
- 6 p.m. – Friday
- 4 p.m. - Saturday