Tales of Lost Engagement Rings

2009 was the year Ms. Lina Tan, the then 42-year-old senior management, accidentally flushed her 1.58-karat diamond engagement ring down the toilet. Thankfully her ring was returned safe and sound after a nail-biting 7 hours. No woman wants to live through such a harrowing experience, but this happens more often than you think. So ladies, take heed of these would-be tragic stories and keep your rings safe! Unlike these lucky ladies, you may not get them back.

The Ring Hidden in a Watch Box

Photo by New York Daily News

Ring Horror Story: In 2013, Racquel Cloutier lost her engagement ring after putting it into an old watch box. She passed that same box to her husband for safekeeping before delivering her baby at the hospital. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize her ring was inside, so he sold the box cheaply at a garage sale.

Lesson Learned: Misplacing your ring is the most frequent way women lose their ring. Not everyone would keep their ring in a watch box, but sometimes you are tempting to slip it off for a second or two, so that you won’t have to worry about losing the ring. Big mistake! Taking your ring off constantly – leaving it on the table before starting on your household chores, placing it on the side of the sink while washing your hands in a public toilet or dumping it into your handbag at the gym – increases the chances of your losing your ring. Yes, we all know this deep down, but we still do it, because we don’t feel comfortable wearing a ring. Ladies, let’s be honest here, how many of us actually wear rings before our fiancé proposed?

Solution: You ought to leave your ring on your finger, if your ring isn’t loose or the stones aren’t coming out. Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are being paranoid. Of course, there will be circumstances you have to remove it, e.g. going for an X-Ray at the hospital or heading for a swim in the ocean. When you absolutely have to remove your ring, put it in a secure place you won’t forget. Preferably, a hole-free zipped compartment in your bag. Still, the best solution is to plan ahead and leave your ring in a safe location (like your jewelry box or a locked drawer) at home, when you know or suspect you have to remove your ring that day. Needless to say, ladies heading overseas for a short vacation may want to reconsider wearing their rings. You may have a careless moment and leave it behind somewhere. Retracing your steps is crazy given how many places you actually visit in one day!

The Ring Found at the Subway Station

Photo by New York Post

Ring Horror Story: The very same year Rachel lost her engagement ring, a Brooklyn teaching assistant named Hagar Elsayed lost her ring on the way home. She realized her ring was missing after boarding the train. After searching the area around her, she realized it fell off her finger back at the station.

Lesson Learned: Our finger size doesn’t remain the same. Weight fluctuation, water retention and changes in temperature cause our fingers to shrink or swell. So, if you are the bride-to-be, who wears her ring all the time, you may want to make sure it fits comfortably. Having a ring that is too loose is worse than having one that is a little pinching, because the moment your ring starts sliding over your knuckle easily, even removing your jacket, gloves or sweater can knock it clean off your finger. Participating in rougher outdoor activities (rugby or rock climbing), while concerning, are the probably unlikely ways you’ll lose that ring, because most brides-to-be will automatically take off their rings.

Solution: Check your ring occasionally by giving it a gentle twist. Your ring is way too loose if it can turn a full 360 degrees or start sliding over your knuckle, especially when you are fiddling with it on a sultry afternoon. Resizing your ring is probably the most straightforward solution, but there’s a catch. Depending on the materials used to craft the band, you may not be able to resize it at all! Tungsten and titanium bands require special tools that your average jeweler probably won’t have, so you might land up throwing that ring away and buying a new one. Also, resizing your ring doesn’t necessarily guarantee you won’t need to resize it again in the future. A cheaper alternative would be to string your ring on a necklace. Wearing your ring in this manner reduces the chances of it sliding over your knuckle.

The Ring Dropped at the Stadium

Photo by Wave 3 News

Ring Horror Story: Back in 2012, bride-to-be, Nikki Russell, discovered she lost her engagement ring when she got home. That was the day her fiancé, Rex Edwards, proposed to her at the Papa John’s Cardinal stadium during a CATS vs CARDS game. Their engagement was even shown the big screen.

Lesson Learned: You don’t have to flaunt your ring to tempt any would be thieves. Sometimes just wearing your diamond ring around is enough to pull them towards you. They lurk around waiting for the right opportunity to pocket your ring, e.g. when you leave it on the ledge above the public washroom sink or dropped it on the floor beside your chair at the restaurant. Some may be daring enough to snatch it off your hand, but that’s really rare.

Solution:  Remember the tip about keeping your ring on at all times? If you are not always slipping it off to wash your hands or otherwise, there are lesser chances of you actually leaving it behind. Avoid wearing such a precious ring to the more dubious places. So, if you and your fiancé are planning a trip overseas (and not for your overseas wedding), reconsider wearing your ring. It’s not about visiting a third world country versus a first world country, but it’s about staying safe. Nothing is more traumatizing than being mugged in broad daylight. Forget about getting back your ring, you’ll be lucky to walk away unharmed! Scary stories aside, if theft is now your biggest concern, insure your ring. Before signing the contract, make sure your chosen policy covers theft, damage and loss. The sum assured may not be the actual market value of your ring, but you can use the cash to invest in a suitable replacement.

The Ring Swallowed by the Dog

Photo by New York Daily News

Ring Horror Story: January this year, Stephanie Lamb realized her engagement ring and wedding band were missing from the coffee table. Beside the table were her two puppies, but she knew, who was the culprit. Immediately, she rushed her rascally Labrador pup, Sierra, to the vet.

Lesson Learned: Like most brides, you probably won’t stop wearing your engagement ring after you are married. You are more likely to wear it together with your wedding band on the same finger. Now here’s the tricky part, when you are going about doing household chores, there will be times you need to slip them off, because you worry about them falling into the washing machine or down the sink. However, when you have young children or pets around, you have to be extra careful. You don’t want to spend the next few hours agonizing after you realized they swallowed the ring.

Solution: Place those rings on an inaccessible shelf or in a locked drawer instead of leaving your rings lying around on the coffee table, on your dresser or in your cupboard. Your pet might be deterred, if your rings are inside your cupboard, but your toddler won’t be. They have this knack of opening cupboards and shelves they aren’t supposed to. Not even child-proof locks can keep them out for long. Really, even though you disagree with this suggestion, but we suggest you consider wearing both rings strung on a necklace, at least, you can always ensure your pet or child stays safe. Those dexterous, tiny fingers or that playful maw can remove your rings without you realizing it.

Your engagement ring remains an important piece of jewelry, whether you are newly engaged, marrying soon or already married. Naturally, due to the sentimental value we attach to it, losing your ring would be devastating, so remember these real life stories and keep your ring safe.

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