Post # 1
I am not engaged but I know who my husband is going to be.
His father died several years ago and among everything he inherited he found these rings. His parents (who were long divorced before he died) “found” a wedding ring set and never attempted to find the owners. They sat in a safe for 30 years and now we have them. We originally wanted to sell them but I’m finding that jewelry is very difficult to sell for its actual worth. It turns out I love the engagement ring and don’t want to part with it. The band I’m actually not crazy about and would probably have it replaced. They were soldered together until I had them separated and repaired, and resized to fit me. He is okay with using this engagement ring. He says he’s not ready to get engaged yet but he has specifically told me that if I like it that much, I should give it back to him and he’ll keep it until he’s ready to ask me the right way.
The question: is this wrong? The rings have a bad, weird backstory, but on the other hand, he inherited them fair and square from his father.
Post # 3
I’m a bit confused by “found,” but I think as long as your SO’s dad didn’t mug someone for it or something, then it should be fine.
Post # 4
Someone apparently left them in a purse at a gas station and drove away… they picked them up and squirreled them away like the paranoid people they were. No crime was committed, but it seems dishonest.
Post # 5
Well, the chances of finding legit owners now are very slim. It could happen. But you could also find a hundred dishonest people who just want a free ring. I don’t think it’s wrong to use them. You didn’t steal them. They do have a weird backstory though. If it bothers you too much you could always take the stone and have it set into a different ring. Or if you don’t like telling the story of how his parents didn’t try to find the rightful owners of a ring, you could always say that they just “found” it. Don’t need to go into detail. I don’t know. In the end it really depends on how you feel. It is an interesting story though. At least after 30 years they’d be getting some love again. 🙂
Post # 6
If it’ll clear your conscience, maybe you can post an ad in the local paper where it was found with a vague description of when and see if anyone can accurately describe the ring to claim it. Otherwise, I’d say you’re free to use it.
Post # 7
@rosemadder: Did the purse have identification in it? But the Future In-Laws took the rings out of the purse and kept them? If so, this is actually really, really dishonest.
I’d feel weird about the backstory. All you can do now is place an ad, or see if they kept the purse, too.
Post # 8
@rosemadder: “No crime was committed, but it seems dishonest.”
It actually is a crime to keep something you “found” without making reasonable attempts to find the rightful owner. That being said, this is not a crime that you or your fiance committed so you’re free to do as you wish.
Post # 9
Actually, receiving stolen property is a crime. I’m not sure if there’s a statute of limitations where you are, but it’s something to consider.
Post # 10
Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. “Finder’s keepers” doesn’t cut it with the law.
But, 30 years have gone by and there’s not much you can do now.
Post # 11
@CaliforniaLove:Actually, according to the police, it is not a crime. If you “lose” something, and someone else finds it, and keeps it, the police can’t do anything about it. Dumb.
Post # 12
@coffeegal85: Depends where you live. It’s likely on the books in every state, whether or not the police in your city will do anything is another story. In CA they will issue a misdemeanor citation for theft. The most common is when people “find” cell phones then decide to keep them.
ETA: It also depends on what the item found is. Like someone else mentioned.. if the rings were found in a purse, then there was likely an ID. That would make it easy to identify who the owner was. A reasonable person could find the owner. However, if you found a $20 bill on the side of the street, your obligations would much less unless you could identify whose pocket it fell out of.
Sorry to get off topic.
Post # 13
You’ve already had the rings repaired, unsoldered and sized to fit you so I think you’ve made up your mind 🙂
You didn’t specify how hard your SO’s father actually tried to find the real owners. If he found the entire purse, there would have been some kind of ID linked to the owner so I’m confused why he couldn’t locate that person? Did he not want to try? Regardless, at this point if it’s been 30 years I agree with PP’s that it’s almost impossible to find the real ligitimate owners. You will get too many people claiming it is theirs who just want a free ring. You might as well accept it as an inherited ring since at this point it’s the second best use for it (the best would be to find the actual owners, but they might question why you had it sized to fit you!).
Post # 14
Right, as I mentioned, the person who knows the most about what actually happened is extremely dead and we’ll never know the answer to any of these questions. We weren’t there.
I would marry this man for an onion ring if I wasn’t sure I would eat it first. The ring just happened into our lives and the only options seem to be to keep it or sell it. Selling them and making money off them could be considered as bad as keeping them. I think the chances of finding the owners are negligible, considering we don’t even know what city they were found in. The only other option is throwing them in the ocean.
Post # 15
Did you have them unsoldered and resized before you knew the story? Otherwise, it just seems weird to ask now.
Though if you did place an ad now, the real owner would know that the ring had been soldered, so that would help you weed out anybody that just wanted a ring.
But it really is a weird story–who carries their rings in their purse at the gas station? (Now I’m making up a story about an unfaithful wife who lost her rings because she took them off and put them in her purse when she went to meet her lover, and then lost her purse, so her husband found out about the affair and divorced her.)
I think at this point, if you love it, give it a nice home. And if you ever meet a lady that says, “Oh, I had a ring just like that once, but I lost it when I forgot my purse at a gas station,” take it off and give it back to her. 🙂
Post # 16
At this point just give them some love. You will probably never find their true owner. @Elvis: And if you ever meet a lady that says, “Oh, I had a ring just like that once, but I lost it when I forgot my purse at a gas station,” take it off and give it back to her. 🙂 What she said!