Happily Ever After: Lost Engagement Ring Found

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A newly engaged North Carolina couple was put to the test just three weeks before their wedding day when the bride-to-be lost her engagement ring.
One day, when Janell Chwalek was gardening, she decided to take her ring off and put it on the trunk of her car to keep it from getting dirty.

Turning her attention back to her garden, she forgot about the costly jewelry until later, when she was driving to the grocery store.

"I just kind of, you know, gripped the wheel and tears just started forming and I said 'Oh crap...this is not good,'" Chwalek told eastern North Carolina TV station WNCT.

When word about the lost bauble got out around Swansboro Middle School, where Chwalek and her then-fiancé Mark Starlin worked as 6th grade teachers, their colleagues formed a search party. They quickly found the ring band on the highway - but not the diamond.
A few days later, fellow teacher Jeff Cronk suggested looking for the gem in the dark with a flashlight to try and catch the reflection.

"We're constantly reaching down," Cronk recalled. "I think I got it, I think I got it - and it's a piece of glass."

Finally, just 50 yards from where the band had been recovered, Starlin found his fiance's diamond.

"I said to myself if we can get through this we can kind of get through anything really," Chwalek said.

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