Woman Flushes Diamond Ring Down Toilet, Gets it Back 13 Years Later
A woman is reunited with her diamond ring years after.
It was their 33rd wedding anniversary and to celebrate Mary Strand's husband gave her an extravagant gift–a beautiful shiny new ring. But it didn't last long. The gold band, which was studded with a large, marquise diamond in the center and accented with 12 smaller diamonds and 16 "itty bitty" ones was shortly lost down the toilet and The pair never expected to see it again. But 13 years later, it showed up.
Back in 2010, Strand was washing her hands in the bathroom sink and accidentally knocked her ring in the toilet as it flushed, she recalled to The Washington Post. She threw her hands in and tried to grab the ring, but she wasn't able to catch the piece of jewelry as it swirled down into the bowl and disappeared.
Mary's husband, David Strand, runs the family's sewer and drain cleaning business and was hopeful the ring could be recovered. When he returned home from work to their house in Rogers, Minn., he removed the toilet, took it outside and shook the ring loose. After that didn't work, he snaked the sewer and put a camera that went 200 feet down the drain. No ring. The couple then contacted municipal workers and asked if they could check the city's pipes. No luck. The anniversary gift was gone.
The couple didn't think they'd ever see the ring again and came to terms with the fact that it was lost forever, but it wasn't! In March, wastewater workers in Rogers found the ring while cleaning a piece of equipment. Three wastewater workers were trying to repair a machine when they found the ring, along with a chisel and clamp in the muck near the equipment. Last month, the Metropolitan Council shared the discovery in a Facebook post trying to find the owner. "Recently, we found a ring at one of our regional wastewater treatment plants! Finding the ring was a rare event, like winning the lottery. We want to return the ring to its owner!
It's not often missing jewelry is found in this type of situation and the workers who discovered the ring knew that. John Tierney, one of the employees who found the ring, released a statement that read, "You're not going to look for that and find it. The odds are astronomical." Nobody knew how long the ring was lost for, and Tierney explained, "This ring could have been lost as long as 62 years ago or as recently as a couple of weeks."
Many people saw the social media posts sharing the news about a ring found and were hopeful it was theirs. Spokesperson Kai Peterson said in a news release that nearly 300 called in and some were "heartbreaking," . Among them were "an elderly woman hoping for a miracle for this memory of a deceased husband" and someone "lamenting that they had lost their ring the night of their wedding."
Mary Strand, now 71 and her husband, 75 were told about the social media posts from their daughter who encouraged her to call. Thinking she was being pranked at first by her family, she reluctantly did pick up the phone and officials asked her to send a photo of her missing ring. Afterwards, they followed up by asking a series of questions like what was diamond clarity, how much did it cost and where it was purchased.
It's nice to see it again," Strand calmly said as she saw the ring and placed it on her finger. Her reaction was captured on video. Before she was shown the ring, a council worker asked "Are you ready?" She added "Now it doesn't look like it did." Strand replied, "I've been prepped for that." The official unwrapped the ring from a blue cloth and handed it over to Stand. "What did you guys do to my ring?!" she said, jokingly.
After being lodged in muck and dirt for 13 years, the ring was in good condition. Four of the "itty bitty" diamonds were missing and the gold band is "really smudged," Strand said. But the large marquise diamond was intacted and "absolutely gorgeous," she said. The discovery meant so much because the couple never expected to see the ring again. "I remember looking at it and flashing back to when he gave it to me," she said. "That's how memorable a thing it was."