The expression “it could always be worse” applies to a great deal of situations, especially those that are in any way materialistic, but realizing you have thrown out your twenty-year-old diamond engagement and wedding rings is definitely something that is hard to swallow.
Colleen Dyckman from Long Island awoke one morning and was horrified when she realized her rings were missing. She was even more devastated upon discovering that she had thrown them out in the kitchen trashcan. After alerting the sanitation truck that valuables may be among the tons of trash they were carrying, the Dyckmans began a very nerve wracking search for the sentimental and valuable jewels. While it is not every day that such a story occurs, similar situations have happened on an unusually regular basis. Let us take a look at this particular story, why such things seem to be occurring so often, and what can be done to prevent them from happening in the future.
Start with a Happy Ending
After enlisting the help of some very ambitious, kind, and helpful individuals the Dyckmans managed to locate the missing rings among six tons of revolting garbage. Bags upon bags of rotting garbage needed be sorted through in order to come across the fateful bag that contained Colleen’s precious rings. In over 40 years of service, this crew has only managed to locate three of the many missing items that have come to their attention. It truly is a miracle that a discarded item, especially something so tiny, could be found.
The “Diamonds in the Garbage” Phenomenon
Diamonds and garbage are the last things you would put together. If so, why is it that stories such as this one are making headlines over and over again? In fact, it even happened to a professional diamond dealer who accidentally tossed over a million dollars worth of diamonds away in the trash! Most people treat their jewelry, particularly their engagement and wedding rings, almost as if they were their children. They recognize both the emotional and monetary value. However, for this same reason, these rings are always worn and are constantly around various conditions that are not always the most ideal for precious jewels. Diamonds and diamond jewelry are often accidentally discarded in the kitchen or bathroom, when they are removed in order to wash dishes, clean with strong cleaning materials, or to shower in very hot water, which is not the best thing for delicate jewelry. They are often placed on a paper towel, tissue, or some other disposable item, and are then mistaken for trash. Alternatively, rings are actually being cleaned when they are confused with garbage and thrown out. This is because they are placed on towels and tissues after they have been cleaned and are then overlooked.
Tips For Avoiding Accidentally Throwing Out Your Jewels
It may seem superfluous to list ways of avoiding throwing out your rings, but the statistics speak for themselves and it is better to be safe than sorry. While removing your rings before cleaning, washing dishes, swimming, or even bathing as is recommended, it is crucial to have a designated spot for placing these valuables until they are reclaimed. It can be a jewelry box, the box the rings came in, or one of those cute ring stands that they sell at random gift stores. The idea is to know where you ring is at all times. In addition, certain places should be avoided at all costs, in terms of where to leave your rings. As most of these situations involve paper towels or tissues, refrain from placing your extremely expensive belongings on this cheap and disposable substance that can easily be mistaken for garbage. Similarly, do not place the rings on something of similar color. For example, white gold or platinum jewelry should not be left on silver foil, metal, or tin surfaces. When in doubt, leave your rings at home in a safe place. If you don’t know whether or not you will have to remove your rings, or whether you will have somewhere safe to leave them, do the smart thing and secure them at home.
Colleen Dyckman is one lucky woman. She is just as lucky this time around, having her rings recovered, as she was when she was proposed to and when she got married. The chances of finding those jewels was so slim, she really needs to count her blessings, and to be more careful from hereon. Women should never refrain from wearing their rings out of fear of losing them, but at the same time, routine can make us blind to how easy it can be to lose or misplace these tiny yet irreplaceable items. Hopefully such stories will only raise awareness where care for one’s jewels is concerned.