- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2015
I’m posting this story because a few people have asked about it and because today I received an update.
My fiance and I have been together for 7 years and finally got engaged on September 26, 2014. On March 15, 2015 I had a somewhat frustrating ride on my Arabian mare, so I went for a margarita at about 2:00 PM with a barn friend. It was after the lunch rush and fairly quiet. Before I sat down, I went to go wash-up in the bathroom and took my ring off so it wouldn’t slip down the massive drain hole. I put it in my pocket, FELT it in my pocket, and left the bathroom. In the 20-something feet between the bathroom and my table, the ring evaporated. I noticed it was gone not long after I sat down and immediately my stomach dropped. Not only had I had a mild argument with my fiance before he went to bed that morning (he’s on a graveyard shift), but now I had to go home and tell him when he woke up that my engagement ring that he spent so much time and energy in buying was gone.
My friend and I *immediately* started crawling on the floors, looking through my food, moving furniture, checking cracks, scouring every square inch of floorspace, interviewing waitstaff, and asking everyone at every table if they had found a ring. We were so obnoxious I wondered if we’d be kicked-out (my friend is a fiesty Italian woman who you would definitely want on your side for shaking-down an entire restaurant). Of course, nothing was found and the waitstaff (all women at the time) acted as though they couldn’t have cared less. We finally gave up and went home after ransacking the restaurant and interrupting every meal. I lost my cool on the ride home by myself. Tears everywhere. It didn’t take my fiance long to figure out what had happened when he saw me in near hysterics with a naked finger. He let me pull myself together and we went back to the restaurant. They said they had looked themelves and that the manager wouldn’t be in until the evening. We looked around once more and went home. Then around the time the manager was due in, we went back. Again. The manager and bartender were very helpful and let us review tapes and helped us dig through trash. We gave them our number and came back once more to leave some flyers both there and with various nearby businesses. Next stop was the police station to see if it had been turned-in by an honest individual, but it hadn’t, so I made a police report. We went home and I scoured Craigslist. There was nothing, so I posted a “Lost Ring” ad, started calling pawn shops, and my fiance placed a claim with the homeowner’s insurance, which only covered half the ring’s value because we had not added it to the insurance policy [yet]. Upon seeing the state of me on Monday morning, my employer graciously gave me three days off to recover from the shock and get my metaphorical ducks in a row. A coworker of mine told me to just envision getting my ring back because she had a feeling it wasn’t gone forever. I appreciated the positive thoughts, but I had some serious doubt. Thinking about it coming back and then realizing the slim odds of that happening were far more agitating than cathartic. I was plagued with physical illness from remorse for over a week after it happened. It got a little easier with time, but I just couldn’t get past the upset that the one completely frivolous and gloriously beautiful thing my financially-conscious fiance bought me was gone.
For over a month and a half I searched every day and night online for my ring. I didn’t want another ring and I certainly didn’t want him to have to expend even more resources just to replace it. Finally, on the night of April 3rd after my fiance had left for work, I began my routine search through Ebay rings and saw one that immediately stood out because it looked exactly like mine (each ring in that style is a little unique, and you notice subtle differences when you look at it all of the time). I clicked on it, and even though the carat weight was correct (it’s printed on the inside band- even though it’s barely readable), every other spec was off a little and there was no documentation or box. It had been posted that day around noon. I scrolled down further to see where it was located. It was about 30 miles away from where it was lost, which seemed far too coincidental for an international sales page. I called my fiance right away, but he was at work doing roll call and said he’d call me back in 10 or 15 minutes. He was doubtful it was mine and told me to relax a little. I saved the images to my desktop for reference purposes and was glad I did, because when I refreshed the page, the ring had SOLD! I wasn’t hugely surprised since they were asking a tiny fraction of its value, but I had found it only moments before it would have slipped through my fingers forever. The ring wanted to be found. I couldn’t lose it now! I contacted the seller (who claimed to be a jeweler) to tell them I thought it could be my stolen ring and could prove it if he checked it out. I received a completely ambivalent reply that he had bought it from a store, had a receipt, and the ring was already packaged for shipment (only around 10 minutes later) to the buyer across the country the next day. I pleaded with him, gave him my phone number, and told him I only needed him to match the serial number on the diamond to my paperwork, but I never received a reply. I gave up on that avenue and left a voice mail with the PD referencing my case number. I was amazed to find I had a response the next day that they had a detective on it and contacting Ebay and the buyer.
At first, the detective didn’t seem confident he could get the ring back because it would be hard to recall a ring from across the country (the seller did ship the ring the next day) without being able to prove it was mine. After our conversation, I looked at the pictures I saved of the ring and remembered the seller took a picture of a serial number on the band- it didn’t match the diamond serial number on my papers, but then when I looked at the papers again, I realized there were two unique serial numbers on the paper- the diamond had one and the band had one, and the band’s number matched perfectly. BINGO! It was exactly what they needed. In a very small amount of time, the police had it back. The detectives advised my fiance to take it to the retailer to confirm the serial number (the retailer wouldn’t even give that information to law enforcement) and we did. It was indeed my ring, and every employee there was completely aghast that it had been found.
The detectives did fabulous work in getting it back. The Ebay buyer wanted no part of the stolen ring (or the attention of law enforcement) and turned the ring around to the PD right away. They were reimbursed by Ebay. The online seller who bought the ring at a pawn shop actually requested the ring be sent to him rather than me while the issue was being investigated. The detective told him only if he wanted to be included in the felony charges they were building a case for. He was trespassed from the pawn shop for making a scene after learning from the PD about the ring having been stolen property. I also found it amusing that he had told the detective I never offered him proof it was mine because I tried and was repeatedly ignored. The 19-year-old girl who pawned the ring (for a price so low it hurts to think about it) said she didn’t find it. She said it was given to her. (A 19-year-old pawning an expensive engagement ring is probably totally legitimate, right?)
There are no words to describe the elation of having my ring back against all odds. My fiance and I went to the restaurant where it all began for dinner one night back in August and the manager (who recognized us right away) told us that the police had been in there at least four times for the investigation. If that seems excessive for a ring, apparently this pawn shop has made some shady deals in the past and the PD decided enough was enough. The manager asked if we’d heard anything about progress; and at the time, we hadn’t. We were just glad to have it back so the wedding planning would no longer have that dark cloud looming over it, not to mention I no longer had my fiance insisting I would be given a new ring which would be more money spent, and just not the same thing. Let me just say that MANY “Lord of the Rings” jokes have been made since “My Precious” was recovered.
Anyway, although this saga isn’t quite over yet, I received a letter in the mail today from the county offering condolences for my being the victim of a crime and said felony charges were being pressed against two individuals for 1) providing false information and 2) theft. Myself and several others thoroughly searched that restaurant not long after it disappeared and did everything but turn everyone in it upside down by the ankles. There’s no doubt one of those people we talked to had found it and lied about it- and if they had found it after we had spoken to them, and kept the ring, they knowingly took someone’s property and sold it. No matter what happens now, I’m just grateful that throughout the entire process, my fiance was nothing but supportive and even offered to replace it despite further cost to him. We aren’t extravagant people and the guilt of the loss had been eating me alive. I’m so very lucky. I doubt I could replicate that kind of luck again, but I feel incredibly blessed- for lack of a better word- to be able to be telling this story with a happy ending; and most of all, to have such a wonderful person as my fiance in my life. I guess some things are just meant to be.