For the past six weeks, Dr. Kristen Rice has been on a mission to find the rightful owner of a diamond engagement ring she and her husband, Kevin, found in the short-term parking lot of Tulsa International Airport.
Featuring a sizable round center diamond, pavé setting, delicate heart-motif gallery, one bent prong, a slightly flattened side and a custom engraving, the white metal ring has been splashed all over Facebook and Craigslist, and on Tuesday was the subject of a news report by NBC’s Tulsa television affiliate, KJRH.
Despite the huge amount of traditional and social media exposure (Rice’s Facebook post about the ring has been shared 641 times, and the TV station’s post was shared 51 times), nobody has come forward to claim the keepsake.
Rice used a strip of grey duct tape to conceal a custom engraving on the inside of the band. Whoever claims the ring must correctly identify what it says.
Since July 4, the Tulsa-based dermatologist has been scouring the Internet for claims of a lost ring, placed an ad on Craigslist, posted photos of the ring on Facebook, regularly contacted the Tulsa airport’s lost and found, and scored an interview with the NBC affiliate.
Rice has received an outpouring of praise and encouragement from the Facebook users following her story.
“Bless her for trying to locate the owner!” commented Linda Tiffany Cardwell. “I lost a sapphire-and-diamond ring in the ladies’ room at the San Antonio airport 20 years ago... great sentimental value. My heart is still broken over the loss. Wish the person who found it had the same character as this lady!”
Added Facebook user Jo Lynn: “Even rings that aren't expensive can be treasures to someone. Kudos to the finder for being a superb human being.”
“The person who found this ring is the kind of person who walks with God,” wrote Damiris Kennedy.
“It's surprising to me so many people are shocked at me trying to find the rightful owner,” she told KJRH. “It's just the right thing to do. I wouldn't have done it any other way.”
Rice, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, is impressed by the power of social media. She reported that several people contacted her saying “don’t give up” and that “25 years ago this happened to me; it took six months or a year, but I finally found the owner through the classifieds.”
“Now with social media it can take 24 to 48 hours,” she said.
Rice hopes there will be a sweet, romantic outcome, although she speculated on circumstances behind the ring ending up slightly flattened in an airport parking lot.
“Maybe she threw it out the window. Maybe she didn't want the ring anymore,” she told KJRH. “I hope that's not the case. Hopefully it's [a couple] who truly lost their ring and they are looking for it, because if they are to find it, it might be a symbol of renewed love.”