Imagine going down to the lake looking for crayfish. You’re flipping over one rock after another, until something catches your eye. But it’s not a crayfish. It’s shiny, gold and round—an antique ring. That’s exactly what happened to a teen on Lake Mitchell near Cadillac, Michigan last week.
“I was just flipping over rocks, catching crayfish and stuff, and just looked under a rock and I found a ring,” said 14-year-old Gabe Hayes.
Curious, Gabe and his mom took it to a local jeweler who determined that the ring was from the 1920s. It’s made of 14-carat gold and features a garnet stone. It wasn’t difficult to tell the age because antique gold has a unique glow to it. Another clue was the “rose cut” of the stone.
“It’s rose cut, which is kind of indicative of that time,” said Jason Nichols, co-owner of Wexford Jewelers. “They couldn’t facet the stones like we can today with machinery that we have and the precision so they would do less facets and they call it a rose cut.” He continued, “Vintage jewelry, whether it be white gold, yellow gold or rose gold, always has kind of a glowing color to it.”
Nichols estimated that the ring is worth about $450 today. He added a guess that it was purchased for about $60 when it was new almost 100 years ago.
Hayes isn’t concerned so much with the value of the ring. He’s more interested in finding the rightful owner, so he can learn more about the story behind it. “The real owner they’re probably gone by now, but it probably has to have been passed down through the family,” said Hayes.
Luckily, the ring has specific dates and initials engraved on the inside, which should make it easy to identify the owner. As yet, no one has stepped forward to claim it.
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