Twist of fate reunites a boy with his grandfather's ring

It was an honour for 12-year-old Jacob Smith to receive his late grandfather's ring. A gift from his grandmother, it carried sentimental value.

But Jacob lost the ring almost immediately after receiving it when he went swimming in the Muddy Hole, a small pond just outside Conception Bay South, located at the end of a river underneath a busy overpass.

"I was the first grandchild," Jacob said. "My pop and I were like best friends, and he was always, like, hanging out with me and stuff, and playing with me. So it meant a lot, 'cause he died eight years ago and I lost his ring the very first day." 

But by coincidence another C.B.S. boy — also named Jacob — would swim in that exact same pond, a popular swimming spot for kids, a year later and discover the Smith family heirloom.

The fellowship of the ring

Kelly Smith, Jacob Smith's mother, sprang to action when she learned Jacob had lost the ring, picking up a friend of her son's who had a metal detector to help search for it.

"They had their snorkels," she said. "Couldn't find anything. Just thought it was rolled off."

Noah Laybolt/CBC

A year later, eight-year-old Jacob Scott had better luck during a swim in that same pond.

"I was, like, going up the stream and I was, like, I seen something silver, he said. He assumed it was a Pepsi can, and wanted to retrieve it to help baby turtles by removing the trash.

It wasn't a Pepsi can, though. It was Jacob Smith's lost family heirloom. Jacob Scott's mother, Sandra, took the ring and began searching for its original owner on Facebook.

There are a lot of coincidences. Pretty amazing. - Kelly Smith

"I said, 'Well, I'll put it on the Facebook page, just the C.B.S. community page," she said.

The mother of Jacob Smith's friend with the metal detector happened to be a member of the Facebook group. Remembering the search the previous year, she messaged Sandra Scott. 

The plot thickens

But when Sandra went to read the message, she accidentally hit delete instead of reply.

"So I didn't have any idea who this person was or what to do," she said. "So I figured OK, I'll put another message after saying, could that person message me again because I didn't know who to ask for. The next day I got a message."

That message was from Kelly Smith, Jacob Smith's mother.

Sandra Scott

"So we had arranged that Sunday night we would meet and get the ring back to him. So Sunday night came, I had the ring all shined up the best I could," Sandra says. 

Along with the two boys sharing the same first name, a few other strange coincidences in the situation were then revealed. After meeting Sandra Scott, Kelly Smith discovered that Jacob Smith's grandfather and Jacob Scott's grandfather are both named Bill.

"So Jacob's pop is Bill and Jacob's pop is Bill. There are a lot of coincidences. Pretty amazing," she said.

Jacob Scott even received a reward for finding the lost ring.

"When they came to get the ring they gave a reward to Jacob, who was up at the ball field. I went up and gave him the reward and he was tickled pink."

Whether it's fate or coincidence, Kelly Smith was left in awe.

"We were kind of — I guess for a while — saying, how did this all work out?"

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