Mary Strand accidentally dropped her diamond ring into the toilet 13 years ago — then she flushed and saw her beloved jewelry swirling down the drain.
“I’m watching this ring swirl,” she recalled when talking with the Metropolitan Council, which provides services for the Twin Cities metropolitan area. “I dove for the ring, and it went down. It went down the drain. “
Panicked, the first thing the Rogers, Minnesota, woman did was call her husband, who happens to run a sewer and drain cleaning business.
He shook the toilet, hoping his wife’s ring might be stuck, but he had no such luck.
He also used a sewer camera — that can look about 200 feet away from the toilet — but “didn’t see anything,” he said in a Metropolitan Council video.
“I never, ever, ever thought that I would ever see this again,” Strand said.
Then in March, crews at the Rogers Wastewater Treatment Plant “spotted a sparkle coming from the muck” while working on machinery, according to a May 17 news release from the Metropolitan Council.
“Buried in the grit and the muck, they found a chisel, a clamp and a diamond ring,” officials said.
Metropolitan Council Maintenance Manager John Tierney “realized that it was probably special to someone and made a public appeal to find the ring’s owner,” according to the release. “Hundreds of people responded and shared photos and descriptions of rings lost down the drain. But only one photo stood out.”
That photo was of Strand’s long-lost diamond ring.
“Two jewelers compared the ring with the photo, and both said it was a likely match,” officials said.
“Against all odds,” the ring was returned to Strand on May 8.