A wedding ring missing for 20 years has finally been returned to its family, but the reunion was bittersweet.
A group of treasure hunters from Canada’s Calgary Metal Detecting Club were tracking something on Monday that led a man named Paul deep into a lake.
He emerged with a wedding band that had become buried in the lake, engraved with the names “Karl” and “Palma”, along with a date.
Paul hoped to track down its owner, so he took the ring to a nearby business to try and help.
A woman who worked there, named Karin, contacted a popular Calgary blog site called Crackmacs, which put out a call on social media to try and find who the ring belonged to.
“She simply asked that if whoever owns the ring could give her the date, she’ll return it, easy peasy. A long shot but who knows, right?” Crackmacs reported.
With the help of another stranger named Tia, the family was identified within an hour.
Sadly, however, the discovery came in the form of a 2012 obituary announcing Palma’s death, “predeceased by her husband Karl”.
The clue helped Karin and Tia track down the couple’s son and granddaughter through Facebook and LinkedIn, and they were able to make contact and arrange to get Karl’s ring to them.
How the wedding band was lost
The family had been at the beach having a picnic 20 years ago when Karl’s ring fell off in the water, according to Crackmacs.
He and his son had searched for four hours with no luck.
The loss continued to devastate Karl, particularly after he suffered from a stroke, which kept bringing back memories of losing the ring.
His heartbreak regularly resurfaced until he died, age 67, his son said.
Returning the missing ring 20 years later
Twenty years after the ring slipped off Karl’s finger, it was finally returned to the family, who placed it on the couple’s gravestone.
The moment happened to coincide with the sixth anniversary of Palma’s passing, making the reunion even more poignant.
The three strangers, Karin, Tia, and Paul, met the family at the cemetery for the special reunion, glad the search for the wedding band had come full circle.
The reunion comes days after a Sydney family found $18,000 worth of diamond rings hidden in an op-shop board game while staying in Canada.