A Dutch journalist’s wedding ring went on an incredible journey after she accidentally lost it in a pile of horse manure at a stable which was then sold to a farmer and dumped on his field to grow mushrooms.
Iris van den Boom, 46, said she noticed that the ring was missing when she was driving home and had started thinking about how she would solve the problem of having two daughters and only one wedding ring to hand on after she dies.
She was thinking about whether it would be possible to have it melted down and create two rings when she suddenly noticed that the ring was missing from her finger.
She said: “There was nothing there. My left hand was prominent through the absence of the ring. I was very upset, I barely managed to drive my Twingo home, where I told everyone that my ring was gone.”
She said she was devastated, and had started thinking about all the places where it could have fallen off her hand. She looked at photographs where she could see that she still had the ring until September 29th while at the Dutch Festival, but that it was missing by 3rd October, and she started calling and working through a list of all the places that she had been.
She said: “I wondered if it was lost on the bus, or when I did an interview in Soest, or when I took my gloves off at the stable?” She said she had called the stable, who had promised to look for it, but with no results.
Her husband Ard Schouten was supportive, and together they posted a message on social media saying that the gold ring was engraved on the inside with the letters ARD, but again no response from either Twitter or Facebook.
After five months, she finally gave up any hope of getting the ring back, and started to look at a replacement. But she was shocked at the cost, and hesitated to order a new one.
And then she said she got a message on Facebook from a fruit grower, Andre van Erkom, saying, incredibly, that he had found her wedding ring in the ground in a neighbour’s field.
The farmer from Geldermalsen had been practising with a metal detector when he discovered the ring, and by researching online came across her Facebook posting.
She said: “Again there were tears, and I called Andre with trembling hands. I then grabbed a bunch of flowers before I rushed over there to try to find out what bizarre circumstances led my ring to end up in his field.
“He opened the door as soon as I pushed the bell, and there he was with my wedding ring in his hands. The gold was still dirty from where he had pulled it from the earth. He had been searching in his neighbour’s field with his metal detector, where a load of mushroom manure had been dumped in recent days to enrich the soil. My wedding ring had been under two inches of the stuff. It had apparently been sent there in a delivery of manure from the stable at Manege Morgenstond in Woerden.”
She said she had then learned that the horse manure is perfect for making mushroom soil, and that her ring must have been lost by her when she was clearing out the stable and had taken off her gloves. It was then sent to a company that trades in horse manure in Rotterdam, and then was shipped to a firm in Kerkdriel where it was sold finally to the mushroom farmer.
In gratitude, she said she had purchased the finder of her ring a new metal detector, and added: “Never in my wildest dreams would I have realised that my wedding ring would have gone on such a journey.”
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