Anyone that knows me, knows that I lose just about everything I touch. When Chandler proposed, before slipping my gorgeous ring onto my finger, he was sure to tell me, “You never take this off, OK?”
I remember the very first time I took my engagement ring off of my finger. It was October 24, 2014. I was nine months pregnant with Covey, and my fingers had swollen so big that my finger was purple and throbbing. It had to come off! I cried for days, and felt completely naked without it. As soon as I was able to, I put that ring on my finger and never took it off again…
Until I lost it. Yep, a few months ago I posted to instagram, the saddest day of my life. The day I lost my ring. It was missing for a full two months. Then one day, out of the blue, my four-year-old found it! While my story has a happy ending, I was so SO saddened to find that many of these stories do not. It was CRAZY to me how many friends told me they had lost their engagement/wedding rings! So, today, I’m telling you 5 Things You Need to Do When You Lose Your Wedding Ring, and one thing not to.
Invest in Insurance
First and foremost, and you can do this BEFORE you ever even think of losing your ring, get that baby insured! Hopefully, you’ve done it already… Like literally right after getting engaged. Or if not, do it after calling your parents, but before calling your siblings! You can add the ring to your homeowner’s insurance, or renter’s insurance policy. You’ll need to provide your insurance agent with a receipt for the ring, as well as the appraisal documents. Now if you’re worried about money, it only costs about $10 more on your insurance plan each month! That’s two days without Starbucks, and trust me, it’s worth it! For more information about insuring your ring, you can read this article on Brides.com, or ask my favorite State Farm Insurance Agent (my father-in-law).
2. Retrace Your Steps
It seems to be the most obvious of solutions, but it’s so so true! You first need to remember the last place you remember having your ring in your possession. Then go to every.single.place. you went to until you noticed it was gone. AND, don’t just visit each place, go over it with a fine tooth comb! I’m talking, hands and knees, moving furniture, using an actual comb to brush over the carpet type of detective work. When I lost my ring, I lost it somewhere between Starbucks and my living room. I went to the Starbucks and not just checked around the store, but brought my own broom and offered to sweep their lobby so that I could “look” for my ring. I also hung out in the parking lot for roughly 4 hours… sweeping. Yep! Why did it take so long? I waited for every single car to move so I could look at each parking spot between the store and where I parked. I also checked gutters, planters and sewage grates (you might need a screwdriver for this.. Yes, I’m serious). I cleaned out my car, including removing the seats and vacuuming the entire thing, and then checked the vacuum bag. I also literally followed my own advice and combed our carpet on my hands and knees. Retrace your steps and chances are, you’ll find it.
3. Call a Professional
If necessary, you may need to call in a heavy hitter. I’m talking about a professional metal detector. Did you know this is a thing? If you lose your ring somewhere like the beach, and cannot sift through all of the sand yourself, it makes sense to hire a professional. The Ring Finders will help you locate a professional metal detector (in cities all over the world), who can help find your ring!
4. Scour Online Market Places
When I lost my ring, the second place I looked was online. Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace. You can do a broad search, or get really specific. You can even save your search criteria, and set up alerts so that you’re notified any time there’s a new listing within those parameters! I created a few searches with different key words, for example, “Engagement Ring,” “Wedding Ring,” “Diamond Ring” and the selected my city. I didn’t get much more specific than that because I figured the sellers (and possibly, GASP, “thieves”!) weren’t having my ring appraised, so they didn’t know a dollar amount. Also I switched the listing start date to the day I lost the ring… no point in pulling up old classifieds.
4. File an Insurance Claim
Hopefully you completed step one, and had insurance on your ring. If you’re starting to lose hope of ever finding your Precious again, and can’t see through your tears, now is probably the time to file a claim. Once approved, your insurance will do one of two things. They will either send you a check for the current value of your ring (not necessarily the price your husband paid for it), or they will work with you to get a replacement ring. That may mean you custom design one with a jeweler of their choosing, or you just find something similar or completely different (is anyone else thinking of Carrie and Aiden and the bad ring?) at the same price point. Please keep in mind this very important thing: If you find your original wedding ring, you MUST:
Notify your insurance company or agent
Return the replacement ring to said agent or insurance company OR
Pay back the money issued in its entirety (even if you spent it on something else).
If you don’t, you will be committing insurance fraud, which is a HUGE felony leading in thousands of dollars in fines and up to five years in prison. Don’t go to prison.
5. File a Police Report
Lastly, if your ring is gone, file a police report. I truly believe that this world is filled with good people. Most people who find something valuable will turn it in to the authorities. If your ring was stolen, maybe the police will find it on the thief, or in a raid of some kind. The point is, they can’t do anything about it if they don’t know it belongs to you. Filling a police report takes about five minutes, they ask very descriptive questions and you just have to answer them. I photographed my ring all of the time, so I was able to provide photos as well. The fact that it was a custom design helped a lot.
If you lost your ring, I know you’re panicking. I know you’re heartbroken, and I hope you’ve done the steps above. If so, there’s not much else to do but sit back and wait. So, what is the one thing not to do when you lose your wedding ring?
Show up at Pawn Shops with a homemade flyer.
I used all of those photos I had of my ring and put together a flyer to take to pawn shops in my area… just in case someone had sold it to them. I was sure to include a description and even a few highlights from the certification papers. My plan was to deliver the flyers after filing the police report. But, the police told me not too. Why?
Let’s say someone stole my ring and took it to a Pawn Shop. Pretend the pawn shop paid that person $2,000 for my ring. If I went in looking for my ring, the shop wasn’t just going to give it to me just because I had proof it was mine, and a police report saying it was stolen. Handing my ring back to me would mean they just lost $2,000 – and that is not how anyone wants to do business. Most pawn shops keep valuable jewelry hidden in the back somewhere. If I were to walk in with my flyer, they would probably just tell me they don’t have it, in order to avoid losing money.
If you still want to look around pawn shops, here’s what you do. Make sure you have filed a police report. Once the police department has sent you confirmation that it has been filed, print a copy. Go to the pawn shops and tell them you are looking for a ring. Describe your ring very broadly. For example, “I’m looking for an engagement ring with a gold band, with a diamond larger than a carat.” You could even throw in the shape of the center stone if you wanted, but just don’t be too specific, or again, they’ll know you’re looking for it and won’t give it to you if they do have it.
If they happen to have your ring, keep cool. Tell them, “nah”, and immediately leave store. Call the non-emergency police department number from the parking lot, and have them come to the pawn shop. Show proof of your police report and any appraisal documents and receipts you have. The police will recover your ring for you.
If you’ve lost your ring, again, I’m so sorry. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I hope this post will help you find a path to finding it, and give you some peace of mind!
March 25, 2019