B.C. woman's lost heirloom ring found 18 years later in dresser she sold
Neighbour buys the used furniture and returns the jewelry to her
A Salmon Arm, B.C., woman didn't realize the wedding ring inherited from her grandmother was actually hidden in her own dresser for almost 18 years, until the furniture was recently sold to a neighbour who was honest enough to tell her.
Last week, retired elementary school teacher Salle Manning received a message from Katherine Bangma Sears who asked whether a piece of jewelry had gone missing, after purchasing the dresser listed on Facebook Marketplace.
Manning was tearful when thanking Bangma Sears with a bouquet, for her generosity in returning the 103-year-old family heirloom.
"I almost felt that connection to the past," Manning said, as she described the emotional attachment to her grandmother and mother that she felt at that moment.
Manning inherited the diamond ring from her mother 27 years ago when she became engaged to her husband Frank. She wore both the ring and her grandmother's dress on her wedding day.
Manning said she shares her mother's habit of hiding belongings in a drawer to make them safe. She wasn't exactly sure how the ring went missing, but the loss was particularly stressful when coupled with other traumatic life events.
"My own mother had passed away not too long ago. During that time, my daughter Maggie was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and was going to start a series of what has now been 12 surgeries," Manning told Chris Walker, host of CBC's Daybreak South.
Manning said there were many days of tears and despair as she searched every corner of her drawers and closets at home without finding the jewelry. During home renovations, she decided to sell some of her furniture, including the 1930s dresser she had kept in her bedroom for 25 years.
Bangma Sears, who lives only a few blocks from Manning, took the dresser home. Manning said she had emptied out the drawers before selling the antique and "felt chills" when she found her neighbour had discovered her long lost ring in the furniture.
The ring is on Manning's finger again. She said she looks forward to continuing the family tradition, passing the heirloom on to her 20-year-old daughter.
With files from Daybreak South and Dana Kelly