Margaret Mussel thought her diamond engagement ring was gone forever after losing it during a family vacation in Italy in 2008. But nine years later, on another trip to Italy, her husband, Justin, found the ring exactly where she lost it, in a crack in an Italian sidewalk.
In 2008, Justin and Margaret, who reside in Brick, New Jersey, took a trip to the southern Italian city of San Marco dei Cavoti, where Margaret’s parents own a home. It was during that trip that she lost the ring.
“Earlier that day we had visited Pompeii and it was extremely hot,” Justin recalls. “My wife’s ring was loose, but she didn’t realize it was gone until later.”
Margaret felt terrible about losing it, especially since Justin’s insurance didn’t cover the 1.1 carat ring because it was lost in a foreign country.
But the couple managed to move on, replacing the ring a couple years later. Justin and Margaret now have two kids, who they were excited to bring back to Italy with them this summer. Once there, they found the last thing they expected to see: Margaret’s lost ring.
The couple were sitting in the front yard of Margaret’s parents’ house when something in the sidewalk caught Justin’s eye.
“I saw this flicker of light coming out of a crack in the sidewalk,” Justin said, explaining that it would happen every time a car drove by with its lights on.
He took a screwdriver and started digging into the crack in the sidewalk, and there was the ring. Astonished by the discovery, he immediately called Margaret over.
“I thought he was crazy,” Margaret said. “I was like, ‘There’s no way the ring is in there.’ I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was playing a joke.”
After comparing the ring to Margaret’s replacement, there was no doubt that this was the ring she had lost nine years earlier.
“When it fell off, it must have bounced into the crack with the stone facing down,” says Justin.
Margaret now wears the original ring, which is still in good shape. She plans to give the replacement to one of her songs when they’re ready to get married.
“If you saw it, you wouldn’t think it was in a crack for nine years,” Margaret said. “I still can’t believe it. I just keep looking at my hands.”