After losing her engagement ring on her family farm more than a decade ago, Canadian Mary Grams resigned herself to the idea she would never see it again.
That is, until the diamond ring showed up this week – 13 years after she lost it –wrapped tightly around a misshapen carrot that had been freshly plucked from the garden, reports The Guardian.
The 84-year-old said she likely lost the ring as she was pulling a large weed from her farm in central Alberta in 2004, prompting a frantic search. “We looked high and low on our hands and knees … we couldn’t find it.I thought for sure either they rototilled it or something happened to it,” she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “I cried so many times.”
At that point she had been wearing the ring for more than half a century, ever since her husband-to-be, Norman, had given it to her in 1951.
When days of searching proved fruitless, she decided not to tell her husband. “I didn’t tell him, even, because I thought for sure he’d give me heck or something,” she said. “Then I finally went to the jeweller and bought a cheap ring. I only told my son, I didn’t tell nobody else.”
Her husband – who died five years ago, shortly after the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary – never noticed the swap, said Grams.
The missing ring remained a secret until earlier this week, when her granddaughter brought over a freshly-picked carrot that had an ornate ring encircling it. “I recognised it right away,” said Grams. “They found it yesterday when my daughter-in-law was digging carrots for supper.”
Colleen Daley said she hadn’t noticed the ring around the carrot when she picked it. She had briefly contemplated feeding the malformed carrot to her dog, but decided against it, only to later notice the ring as she was washing the carrot. “It was pretty weird-looking,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
As the farm had been in the family for 105 years, the origin of the jewel was fairly easy to track. “I knew it had to belong to either grandma or my mother-in-law,” Daley told the CBC, “because no other women have lived on that farm.” She checked with her husband who recounted the story of the ring his mother had lost years earlier.
This week, Grams – surrounded by her family in her home in Camrose, Alberta – sliced carefully into the carrot, gently easing the ring off and washing it. She giggled as the long-lost ring easily slipped on to her finger. “I thought I would have to go to the jeweller today, but it still fits,” she said.
Canadian carrots are not the only ones to have turned up ring-clad in recent years: In 2012, a woman gathering carrots in her garden in northern Sweden found one bearing a white gold ring she had lost some 17 years earlier, while last year a German man found his wedding ring wrapped around a carrot after losing it three years earlier.