Saturday morning, March 9, couples and individuals from as far away as Jackson gathered in front of Hill’s Jewelry in Laurel to participate in the city wide scavenger hunt for a diamond ring with a .92K cushion cut diamond on a 14K white gold mounting.
In order to get the first clue in the hunt, the participants had to complete a crossword puzzle by answering several questions about Laurel. The race was on when one-by-one the twenty-three participants figured out the first clue and scampered to their vehicles. One couple, who was among the first to leave, were so excited they forgot to put the car in gear before trying to take off. Others couldn’t get their keys in the ignition fast enough.
Hill’s Jewelry owners, Jeff and Cortney Hill, came up with the idea for the Diamond Hunt when they were looking for a way to say thank you to their customers for their loyalty over the past three years since opening their business. As they developed the clues for the hunt they wanted to showcase historical places and non-profit organizations in Laurel as well as other small businesses.
The clues led participants all over the city of Laurel including the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and the Veterans Memorial Museum. The participants had no idea how many clues there were. The final clue, as well as the ring, was actually located in Hill’s Jewelry.
The first to arrive back at the jewelry store was a young couple, but unfortunately they had not gathered all the keywords at each clue location. A few minutes later, another couple arrived, but they too failed to gather the keywords, which were all names of gem stones and located at the bottom right hand corner of each clue. It was interesting to see that it was the couples that were having the most difficulty, in both cases one thought the other was keeping up with the keywords.
Shortly after the second couple left, and a little over an hour from the time the hunt began, Kayla Dunnam and her co-pilot and mother, Karen Goodwin, of Laurel, arrived at the jewelry store. Kayla ran through the store looking for the clue. When she located the clue she began reading, “As careful as you can, especially using your hands, show your excitement, because you’re taking home a diamond today.” Kayla jumped straight up in the air screaming. It took her mom, Karen, a second or two to realize what was going on and that Kayla had won. The two ran to each other, embraced each other and began jumping up down together with huge smiles on their faces.
Kayla and her husband, Kyle Dunnam, had made plans to renew their vows on Saturday, March 16, to celebrate their tenth anniversary. “I wanted something special to commemorate our tenth,” said Kayla, “we couldn’t really afford a new ring. This is just perfect. I can’t believe we did it. Thanks mom for your help.”
“I can’t stop shaking,” said Goodwin. “I don’t think her car has ever been run that fast. It started smelling hot.”
Dunnam and Goodwin began reliving the hunt. “It took us forever to find the clue at the Veterans Museum,” said Goodwin. “I bet we spent over five minutes there. I looked all around that truck and couldn’t find it.” “Yeah, I finally walked over there and saw it in the back bed of the truck,” exclaimed Dunnam.
The ring fit Dunnam perfectly. Along with the ring, Dunnam, received a “Certificate of Authentication” with an appraised value of $3840.
“With the 14 karat white gold mounting, it’s roughly a 4,000 dollar ring,” said Cortney Hill.
As the participants began to arrive back at the jewelry store, the stories of their adventures were revealed and the overall statement repeated was, “That was so much fun!”