My Quest to Reunite a Missing Wedding Ring With Its Owner
I searched through years of wedding notices and hundreds of names, and in the end, found a very Canadian love story.
I love a beautiful vista as much as the next person, but I have always directed my gaze downward wherever I walk. I like to keep my eye peeled for unexpected treasures—the habit likely goes back to my childhood, searching for fossils in Alberta’s Badlands.
Even today, I partake in my “obsession” (as some of my more charitable family members call it) while walking the dog up and down Toronto’s Don Valley, a river park that spans from Lake Ontario to the far north of the city. Among the numerous small objects I’ve picked up: a 1915 penny, a silver pencil etched with the year 1902 and a lead toy soldier from the First World War.
In January 2019, a few days after an unusually heavy snowfall, I was trudging through the Don Valley as usual with Luna, my loyal but somewhat bored golden retriever. Snow days are not the best for treasure hunting, so I was surprised to see a glint of gold beneath the snow near the bottom of a hill. I carefully extracted a ring of three entwined bands, emblazoned with a Cartier logo.
I walked into the local coffee shop overlooking the hill to see if anybody had reported lost jewellery. Sadly, they had no news, so I headed home to print up flyers to post around the neighbourhood. I also tried a local Facebook group.
waited and waited but nobody called to lay claim to my small treasure, and having carefully hidden it from my cat atop my tallest bookshelf, I eventually forgot all about it. That is, until many months later when my wife and I took a trip to Amsterdam to visit our daughter Katie, who was attending university there. I figured that somebody may as well enjoy the ring, so I took it along and was delighted to see that it looked beautiful on her hand. But my daughter’s eyesight is far better than my own, and she soon noticed a tiny inscription on the inside of one of the bands that read, “Omar and Yoshi.”
Right away, she said she could never feel comfortable wearing a ring that was so obviously important to somebody else. I had to agree and took the ring home, vowing to do whatever I could to track down this couple.
Back in Toronto, my son Cameron and I searched through years of wedding notices but there was nothing on record for those two names, and so we began our deep dive into social media. We found hundreds of matching individual names, but never the two together. When something looked even remotely hopeful, we messaged the couple but received only apologetic, negative responses. This was not their ring.
Frustrated, I began to give up hope, then had one last thought: why not call Cartier stores in the city?
Checking online, I saw there were two Cartier stores in the Toronto area. I picked one at random and dialed. An understandably bemused gentleman listened to my story, went silent for a moment and then stated that the ring was totally untraceable. He apologized, and I was about to hang up when he suddenly asked if I had found a name on the ring. I told him just the first name, Omar. “Omar?” he said excitedly. “Omar and Yoshi?”
Nearly a year earlier, two friends of his had mentioned losing one of their matching rings, but, since almost nobody returns lost jewellery, he didn’t expect they’d ever get it back. He gave me Omar’s phone number and I called right away. I reached his voicemail and left a brief message about maybe finding a ring. I waited impatiently for several hours until I finally got the call I was waiting for. Omar was overjoyed, and asked if he and Yoshi could come by to meet me first thing in the morning.
Bright and early, there was a knock at my door and on my porch stood two handsome men in their 30s, with outstretched arms and a bottle of wine. They came inside and we started stumbling over each other trying to tell our respective stories. I explained how the ring had travelled to Europe and back, and only because of that trip had we discovered their names. I showed them the signs I had put up and how we had searched for them in vain.
Before I could hear their story, though, Yoshi slipped on the band and both men triumphantly held up their left hands to show their matching rings. Omar was originally from Colombia and Yoshi from Mexico. They had met in Toronto and married the previous December at a small ceremony where they gave each other these rings. Just a few weeks later—after the first snowstorm of winter—they decided to do something truly Canadian and bought a toboggan, carrying it to the steep hills of the Don Valley, right at the end of my street.
Their first run was spectacular, fast and very scary. As they pulled themselves up out of the snow at the bottom of the hill, another toboggan smashed into the two, sending them cartwheeling across the field. They hobbled back up the hill and straight to a hospital’s emergency room department to set Omar’s broken arm. It was only then that they discovered Yoshi’s new ring was missing. Heartbroken to have lost it so soon after their wedding, Omar went back to the hill the next day to search, but it was hopelessly gone, or so it seemed.
I now have a great photo of the three of us in my house, with our arms around each other’s shoulders and their hands raised to show off the rings. We stay in touch and, honestly, I can’t imagine a more quintessentially Canadian love story.
Next, check out these random acts of kindness that will inspire you to pass it on.