Couple Finally Retrieves Engagement Ring Stuck In The Toilet For 36 Years

All’s well that ends well, even if it means going 36 years without wearing your engagement ring because it’s been stuck in a toilet. One couple in Montana had a fortuitous moment that allowed them to retrieve a pink sapphire engagement ring they thought was lost to them in the bowels of their home’s porcelain throne.

Montana’s Great Falls Tribune (via HLN) tells the story of Donna and Terry and their missing family jewel. Donna took her ring off over 30 years ago and set it on the toilet tank. A slide and a plop later, the ring had fallen into the bowl and lodged itself in a hole at the bottom of the toilet that was impossible to get into.

She and her husband tried everything to get it out, to no avail. They didn’t remove the toilet and bash it apart, as they couldn’t afford a new toilet. The couple sold the house in 1975 and left behind the ring.

But then right before Thanksgiving this year, husband Terry was across the street working on a roof, and he saw the house’s owners removing a broken toilet. Could it be that broken toilet? He asked them if he could have it and they acquiesced.

He toted it back to his workshop, smashed it open with a sledge hammer, and lo and behold, there was the still shiny pink sapphire engagement ring they’d given up for good 36 years ago. Terry surprised Donna with a second engagement and handed over the ring to her great surprise.

“We cried and we laughed. We giggled and danced. It was great,” said Donna.

36 years later and a sapphire still shines [Great Falls Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    While this is great and all…in the span of 36 years you couldn’t save up $100 (or less) for a brand-new toilet so you could smash the old one?

    Cripes. Sometimes I see toilets on sale for $49.

    • Costner says:

      They haven’t owned the house since 1975… which a bit of math tells me is 36 years ago. Sounds like they didn’t have the money back then, and sold the house shortly thereafter. It was just dumb luck that they guy happened to see the current owners tossing out the toilet, and even greater luck that the ring was still locked deep inside.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        True, but if they SOLD the house back then (and weren’t foreclosed on or something), there was enough money sloshing around across different parties and accounts that they could have snuck the cost of a new toilet in there and not noticed it.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That’s what I was wondering. I mean, how cheap was the ring that it wasn’t worth replacing the toilet to get it out? Maybe back then, toilets were much, much more expensive?

  2. Costner says:

    That ring has seen things no finger should ever come near. Needless to say if you were to ask the ring… it would tell you the last four decades have been pretty shitty.

    • EarlNowak says:

      It’s a sapphire. That makes it the third hardest mineral that occurs in nature, only behind silicon carbide and diamond. It won’t absorb anything.

      …I’d probably get it reset, though.

    • Clux_the_Chicken_Penguin_Hybrid says:

      Yes. At the very, very least, that bad boy would get a sonic cleaning and some UV many, many times before I wore it on my finger. Blech. Nice story, though…

  3. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    With this poop ring, I re-affirm my love for you!

  4. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I hope he encased it in lucite before giving it back to her.

  5. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    Hope he washed that thing first. Nice to see a happy ending after so much time

  6. Cat says:

    I sure as hell would have pulled out that toilet and replaced it if need be. It costs less than a hundred bucks for a new one, and an hours work, tops.

  7. HomerSimpson says:

    Just one thought…


  8. Jules Noctambule says:

    Mine unfortunately made it past the bend; I’ll never see it again. Glad someone got their ring back!

  9. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    This is a bullshit story. Apparently the ring wasn’t important at all and it was recovered through coincidental timing.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      It’s cute how you can read the story and assert the ring was not important.

      • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

        All rings, by definition, are less important than The One Ring.

      • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

        This is a bullshit story. Apparently the ring wasn’t important at all and it was recovered through coincidental timing.

  10. teamplur says:

    Now that’s a heart-warming tale. Coincidences like this, especially after so many years always get me all (nostalgic?). I’ve had my fair share and they always blow my mind.

  11. Cat says:


    There it is.

  12. parabellum2000 says:

    Wow, toilets aren’t hard to remove. All that he would have needed was an adjustable wrench and a new seal. Today’s cost would have been about $15 and 30 minutes. Back then maybe $5 and 30min.

    I hope he was good for something, because he obviously was a worthless handyman.

    • O2C says:

      If you read the article, you’d know “Terry and Donna drained the toilet and took it off the floor, trying to get at the ring from the underside, but no amount of shaking, poking or prodding would set the ring free.”

      I’d guess it got stuck in the siphon jet, meaning removing it from the floor might not have helped at all.

  13. Earl Butz says:

    You can remove a toilet without smashing it, for God’s sake. Takes 20 minutes if the bolts are totally rusted, takes about one minute otherwise.

    These people are idiots.

    • GOInsanity says:

      They did remove the toilet, but the ring was caught in such a way that they still couldn’t reach it inside the toilet without smashing it. You know, it does have that crazy bend and everything.

  14. lagotech says:

    After 36 years in the poop tube that ring would get pawned ASAP.

  15. tailspin says:

    30 years of “use” turned that pink sapphire into a chocolate diamond. i’d seal it up in a biggie and pawn that thing in a heartbeat. *gag*

  16. taaurrus says:

    How is this story consumer related? Why does the Consumerist pass up consumer related stories in favor of stories like this? Stories that have nothing to do with consumer issues? I have submitted THREE consumer related stories that the Consumerist has never published – and instead chooses to publish stories like this one. How many other readers have submitted consumer related stories that have never been published?? Well, since the Consumerist seems to think that a story like this is more consumer related than mine – I’ll publish a brief summary here for the readers: 1.) Cricket wireless is selling used phones as new. It happened to me. At 2 different Cricket stores. I called the corporate office who didn’t sound surprised at all that the independent stores were doing this and instructed me to bring my used-but-sold-as-new phone into one of the main Cricket stores to exchange for a new phone. It only took me 3 visits to Cricket, 3 phones, many, many miles driven and hours on the phone with Cricket in order to get the NEW phone that I should have gotten, at the first store I visited, where I paid for it. I sent the story in to Consumerist and it was never published. Where is that story Consumerist?? Especially since this seems to be common practice at independent Cricket stores?? 2.) Brake Team advertises, in writing, for one price, charges another then sabotages your car if you don’t agree to their new estimate – which is often 100’s of dollars more than advertised. Additionally, they do NOT even perform the work or replace the parts they are charging for. Again, it happened to me. This is such a common practice at Brake Team that the news did a story on it and the Attorney General has opened up an investigation (which I did not know about before I took my car into them). Where was that story Consumerist?? How about making this story more known, so other people who didn’t see the news story, don’t end up taking their car there?? 3.) Progressive insurance – if you ask them how much your insurance will raise if you make a change months down the road – they will quote you an incorrect, lower price. Then when you decide to insur with them, based on this quoted price, and then go to make that change down the road – the price will now be 100’s of dollars more per month then what was originally quoted. And no, there were no accidents, tickets or any other changes that would justify the difference in price. Again, it happened to me and I immediately cancelled my policy and insured with State Farm, at a major savings, instead. Progressive lost a customer with that trick but I’m sure I’m not the only one they did this too. Where was the Consumerist story on that one?? – these are the kinds of stories Consumerist pass up for some of the non-consumer related stories, like this one, that they post instead.

    • ninabi says:

      This story is Consumerist related because I want to know what model of toilet contains a treasure trap.

      That is not the toilet I want to buy.

      Hopefully this model was discontinued decades ago.

    • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

      Someone else made this comment yesterday. He had a story about USAA charging him $20 for a car loan he never had and they don’t care to refund the money. I think the Consumerist is only posting stories that drive mouse clicks and that are catchy. It’s a damn shame!

  17. Traveller says:

    Regardless of all the crappy comments, I find this to be some pretty cool s#!^.

  18. kungfu71186 says:

    I think the real story here is that they are still married after 36 years. How often do you see that now and days?

  19. Froggee285 says:

    Engagement ring (circa 1970s) maybe it cost 1,000 VS a new toliet, that probably cost 200. I will admit, it was damn stupid of her to place the ring on the toliet tank, but it was also damn stupid of the husband to leave the ring in there. And then move out. What, no one in your whole family or friend network could loan you the money for a toliet? Upon moving, why didn’t you smash the toliet, and drop the home price a few hundred?

    I hope this story is fake, because I can’t fathom having people this stupid adding to the gene pool.

  20. km9v says:

    That’s a lot of effort for a sh*tty ring.