Publicity about first lost ring leads to return of the second

Sarah Johnson reacts to seeing her wedding band again, one of two rings she lost in a snowdrift on Grand Mesa last year. Claudia King found the band while cross-country skiing, and learned it was Johnson’s after reading a story about the return of Johnson’s diamond engagement ring in The Daily Sentinel. Photo by Rachel Sauer.

The glint of gold on that morning in late February was different from the glint of snow. Snow is a flashing crystal sparkle with surprising bursts of color as light refracts in diamond brilliance.

Gold is a glimmering pool of sunlight, and Claudia King could tell the difference.

On Grand Mesa with two girlfriends for a day of cross-country skiing, Claudia had stopped at the restroom next to the Grand Mesa Visitor Center when she spotted something shining gold. Wading through the snow to it, she picked up a ring.

Hmm. It was definitely gold, she figured, and several curving channels on its surface housed what appeared to be small diamonds. Whoever belongs to that ring, she figured, would obviously want it back.

Zipping it into a pocket for safe keeping, she continued on with her ski day, vowing to contact the visitor center as soon as she got home. She did not mean to forget about it, and she feels so terrible now that she accidentally did.

Sometimes, though, everything works out exactly how it’s supposed to.

Reading The Daily Sentinel on July 20, she learned about how Sarah Johnson had thrown a snowball near the visitor center in early February and lost her engagement and wedding rings. Someone had found the engagement ring, with its rectangle diamond, and put it in the visitor center mailbox in early June.

It was safely back on Sarah’s finger, but no mention in the newspaper story about the wedding band. Claudia immediately remembered the ring she’d zipped safely into her pocket. Could that be it?

She called the newspaper and a flurry of phone calls and descriptions followed. It had to be Sarah’s ring.

The ladies met for lunch Tuesday at Flying Fork Cafe & Bakery in Paonia — Claudia is a lifelong Paonia resident and the former librarian at Paonia High School.

“First things first!” Claudia said once they were settled at a table. She pulled a small, purple tulle bag from her purse, one tied with a purple ribbon, and handed it to Sarah. Inside was a ring. The ring?

Sarah could only gasp with joy. She had its twin, her husband, Matthew’s, wedding ring for comparison on the middle finger of her right hand.

“My ring!” Sarah exclaimed.

Claudia’s smile beamed like gold.


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