Diamond ring that was accidentally thrown away is found by recycling plant employees: ‘Struck gold’

A woman in South Carolina is rejoicing after her diamond ring was recovered from a recycling plant after she accidentally threw it away over the weekend. 

Melanie Harpe of Greenville, South Carolina, was throwing her recyclables into the bin at the city’s Rutherford Road recycling center on Sunday, Jan. 28, when disaster struck. 

Harper’s diamond wedding band fell off and went right into the recycling bin, the city shared in a Facebook post on Tuesday, Jan. 30. 

Sad about what happened but not yet willing to give up hope, Harper emailed the City of Greenville’s Public Works department.

She wrote, “I know the likelihood of finding this is slim to none. But, if the ring is found during the course of processing the recycling, I would be most appreciative if someone could contact me.”

Against all odds – and in a move akin to finding a needle in a haystack – the ring was found, the City of Greenville wrote. 

On Monday, rather than processing all the contents of the recycling bin, workers went on a treasure hunt. 

“Public Works supervisors and litter crew members said, ‘Let’s dump it on the ground and look for it,’” wrote the City of Greenville. 

Public Works employee Travis Golden found the ring “after hours of searching,” the city said. 


Diamond ring recovered by recycling plant employees after being accidentally thrown away.
Melanie Harpe of Greenville, South Carolina, was throwing her recyclables into the bin at the city’s Rutherford Road recycling center on Sunday, Jan. 28, when disaster struck. City of Greenville

Golden “struck gold. White gold,” said the Facebook post. 

“They called a very grateful Melanie who came out to [the public works building] to reunite with her ring,” wrote the city.

The Facebook post singled out the other Public Works employees who helped find the ring, saying that everyone was”so grateful for your commitment to our community.” 

Facebook users were quick to praise the Public Works employees in the comments.


A woman in South Carolina is rejoicing after her diamond ring was recovered from a recycling plant.
Against all odds – and in a move akin to finding a needle in a haystack. City of Greenville

“So nice! I hope those gentlemen get treated to a steak dinner,” wrote one Facebook user. 

“We absolutely LOVE our Greenville public works department!!” wrote another user. 

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