Passengers leave things behind on trains all the time, with conductors frequently finding umbrellas, phones, even laptops that had been forgotten. But Thursday's haul on the 6:11 train from Penn Station to Port Washington was one for the record books.
Inside a bag that was left behind, Long Island Rail Road Conductor Jonathan Yellowday found a jewelry portfolio containing 36 precious diamond ring settings — valued at around $100,000.
"It almost didn't seem real. I thought, this can't be what it seems," Yellowday said. Having been on the job for eight years, he thought he had seen it all. But this blew him away.
The diamonds belonged to a passenger who works as a jeweler, who did not want to be identified, but did want to share his story and his eternal gratitude to the honest conductor.
"I started searching the house, I thought I brought it home. I started retracing my teps and remembered I left it on the train," the jeweler said.
As it turns out, Yellowday had already returned the setting to MTA Police at Penn Station. There, they arranged for the jeweler to pick up his precious belongings on Friday. He thanked everyone who helped bring back the diamonds, and was happy to meet the man who made it all possible.
LIRR President Phil Eng gave Yellowday a commendation, and said that lucky for the jeweler, Yellowday did the right thing. The conductor said there was never a doubt what he needed tp do, and his mother told him the same.
"She said, you know what, good karma is going to come your way. She's a very religious person, and she's all about what you put out there comes back to you," Yellowday said.
In addition to being recognized for his good deed, Yellowday can expect a gift in the future: The jeweler promised to craft a piece for him to wear to express his gratitude.