They appeared to be the best of friends and yet, Dee Morgan from Sagamore Hills and Kathy Franz from Northfield had only just met, their new relationship forged in desperation and from a single prayer.
"I said, Lord, just put it in the hands of somebody with a good heart,” Morgan told Call for Action reporter Lorrie Taylor, explaining how she reacted after realizing her diamond engagement ring was lost.
Morgan had taken the ring off to lotion her hands before getting out of her car in the parking lot of the Lowes Home Improvement Store in Macedonia.
Minutes later, Franz left the same store and began walking toward her car. That’s when she saw something glistening in the slushy snow.
"I just saw something out of the corner of my eye,” she said, “I don't know if it was the sun that hit it just at the right time and I looked down and I picked it up."
It wasn’t until Monday morning that Morgan realized her ring was no longer on her finger. Both women said they left their names and numbers with a store representative, but when the phone failed to ring and days turned into weeks, Franz Called for Action.
Taylor met Franz at her home and inspected the ring for anything that might identify the rightful owner. Seeing nothing, she turned to a fifth generation jeweler and recognized expert, Shahruq Siddiqui from Siddiqui Jewelers in Broadview Heights.
Siddiqui told Taylor the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, assigns a series of numbers to the diamonds it certifies. The information detailing a stone's unique characteristics is laid out in a certificate, which is given to a buyer at the time of the sale. The certificate number is sometimes lasered into the edge of the diamond where the top of the stone meets the bottom.
"This one does not have any laser inscription on it," Siddiqui said as he inspected the ring for a certificate number.
He assured Taylor he could match the right certificate to the diamond, should an owner come forward.
Morgan’s granddaughter saw Taylor’s report on a lost diamond ring. She contacted her grandmother and Morgan got in touch with Taylor. She presented the Call for Action reporter with proof of purchase and a picture that showed the ring on Morgan’s hand.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve found the right owner; is there any doubt in yours?” Taylor asked Siddiqui, who’d just finished inspecting the diamond, “No, there is no doubt,” he said.
Taylor arranged a meeting between Morgan and Franz so the ring could be returned. The women tearfully greeted each other as if they were old friends.
"I just think it was Divine intervention. I really believe that," said Morgan, marveling that Franz would be the person to find her ring.
"Miracles do happen," proclaimed Franz.
Whether a Christmas miracle or an answer to a prayer, it promised to be a happy holiday for both Morgan and Franz.