It’s anyone’s worst nightmare: losing an engagement, wedding, or anniversary ring, and never seeing that precious piece of jewelry again. Except sometimes a little luck means that you can be reunited with said ring, even after more than a decade.
Recently, wastewater workers in Rogers, Minnesota, discovered a diamond ring while cleaning a piece of equipment. And the city was able to track down the owner, who happened to have accidentally flushed the ring down the toilet a whole 13 years ago, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
Mary Strand, the ring’s rightful owner, said she never thought she’d see it again. Even still, “I remember looking at it and flashing back to when [my husband] gave it to me,” she told the Post. “That’s how memorable a thing it was.”
David, Mary’s husband, gifted her the ring as a 33rd anniversary present. It features a large, marquise diamond accented by 12 smaller diamonds and 16 even tinier ones, all set on a gold band. On that fateful day back in 2010, Strand had gone to flush the toilet and accidentally knocked her ring into the emptying bowl. Despite the couple’s best efforts to retrieve it (David ran the family’s sewer and drain cleaning business, so he had an idea of what to do), no one was able to find the ring.
Fast forward to March 2023, when wastewater workers in the area were trying to fix a broken machine. In some muck near the equipment, they found a chisel, a clamp, and—much more interestingly—a diamond ring. The Metropolitan Council, a government agency, put out a call on social media to see whether it could find the ring’s owner, a quest that seemed like a long shot.
“This ring could have been lost as long as 62 years ago or as recently as a couple of weeks,” John Tierney, one of the people who discovered the ring, said in a statement.
Somehow, Strand’s daughter saw the post and called her mom, sure that the ring the city had found was her mother’s long-lost one. Strand at first thought that her daughter was pranking her, but she went ahead and reached out to the council anyway. So much time had passed, though, that when it asked her to describe the ring, Strand couldn’t actually remember what it looked like. Luckily, she had a photo she could share.
After carrying out their due diligence, the group determined that the ring was a match for the one Strand had flushed down the toilet, and she was reunited with her anniversary ring. It’s a good bet that she’ll hold on to it a little more tightly this time around.