$2K ring found in purse donated to SPCA returned to owner

·3 min read
The ring belongs to a woman named Sandra, whose daughter is a long-time volunteer and fundraiser for the Nova Scotia SPCA. (Nova Scotia SPCA/Instagram - image credit)
The ring belongs to a woman named Sandra, whose daughter is a long-time volunteer and fundraiser for the Nova Scotia SPCA. (Nova Scotia SPCA/Instagram - image credit)

A $2,000 ring that was accidentally donated to the Nova Scotia SPCA last month has been returned to its owner.

"She was thrilled ... she was really happy to have it back once again," said Courtney Barber, the SPCA's provincial director of retail operations and branding.

The ring was found by a customer at the SPCA Thrift Store in Dartmouth in March. It was inside a used leather purse that had been donated the previous week.

"The customer was very honest and brought it back to our cashier and said, 'Oh my gosh, I found this item,'" Barber said at the time.

Barber had the ring appraised, and it turned out the ring's worth — $2,000 — far exceeded the $12 price tag on the purse.

Courtney Barber, the SPCA's provincial director of retail operations and branding, said she was overwhelmed by the response she got about the ring.
Courtney Barber, the SPCA's provincial director of retail operations and branding, said she was overwhelmed by the response she got about the ring.(Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

Convinced the ring had been donated by accident, Barber put out a call on Instagram to find the owner.

Barber said the response was overwhelming. She received phone calls, text messages and emails from people hoping the ring was their lost or stolen heirloom.

"We were starting to get a little bit skeptical. We had a lot of people come forward saying that they had lost the ring," she said.

"A lot of people from the United States, shockingly enough, had sent me some really long emails stating that they had lost a ring and somehow it might have made it to the East Coast of Canada."

The unique ring is made up of black sapphires and diamonds to form the shape of a flower.
The unique ring is made up of black sapphires and diamonds to form the shape of a flower.(Nova Scotia SPCA/Instagram)

But then, Barber received a call from a long-time volunteer and fundraiser for the Nova Scotia SPCA.

"She called me on my cell phone just to say ... 'Mom and I had been dropping off some donations at your thrift store, and I think it might be our ring,'" Barber said.

"And then from there, she described it to an absolute T, right down to the size of the band and the little sizing balls that were on the inside of the band as well. So it was quite a funny story. She kind of reached out as a long shot and it turned out to be exactly her mother's ring."

The unique ring, made up of black sapphires and diamonds in the shape of a flower, belongs to the volunteer's mother, Sandra.

The ring was returned to Sandra on Tuesday.

Proceeds from the volunteer-run SPCA Thrift Stores fund operations at the provincial animal shelter.
Proceeds from the volunteer-run SPCA Thrift Stores fund operations at the provincial animal shelter.(Robert Short/CBC)

Barber said she was happy to see the ring returned.

"It kind of felt like a long shot. We had a lot of people come forward with a lot of really sad stories. Apparently it happens more often than I would have imagined — people losing a ring as valuable as this one."

Barber said this experience has her carefully checking donations for potentially missing items before they are put up for sale.

"We'll always be sure to post something that's of that value before we go ahead and resell it, just to make sure that it didn't accidentally get donated."

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