A woman hopes she will have a diamond ring returned to her that she mistakenly gave to a man when she handed him some spare change. (Photo submitted)

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

A woman hopes she will have a diamond ring returned to her that she mistakenly gave to a man when she handed him some spare change.

Trinda Gajek, from Salt Spring Island, was just pulling her car out of the parkade at the boardwalk in Nanaimo on Wednesday at about 7 p.m. when she noticed a young man in the car park who appeared to be down on his luck.

“He certainly wasn’t panhandling or begging or busking or anything along those lines,” Gajek said. “He just looked a bit forlorn and, you know, on his own in the parkade … He seemed to be in his late teens, early 20s.”

Gajek decided to offer the man some money – a $5 bill and some change.

Gajek had taken her ring off while travelling and put it in her makeup bag, then transferred it to a zippered pocket of her wallet thinking it would be safer there, but forgot she’d done so. The tight pocket made it difficult to dig the change out so she flipped the wallet over, dumped the change in her palm and handed it to the man in the car park.

“He was just standing beside my car and then I just handed him all the change I had in my hand, including my diamond ring, over to him,” she said. “He didn’t count the coins. He just shoved the whole pile into his pocket not knowing he had a diamond ring in his possession – and neither did I – and he said thank you and I drove away,” Gajek said.

For Gajek, the ring holds more sentimental than monetary value because of the memory of the day she bought it with her children. They were in their teens at the time and convinced her she deserved it, even though she couldn’t quite afford it, so they chipped in money to help her buy it. Gajek remembers paying somewhere between $1,500 to $2,000 for it at a jewelry store in Vancouver.

The ring is white gold, with several square-cut diamond baguettes set in the band.

“It’s just a very fine, beautiful, dainty ring,” she said. “It’s a ring that I wear almost all the time because it’s a comfortable ring.”

Gajek has gone public with her story in hopes the man will realize he has the ring and return it and she said she is willing to “offer a solid reward” for its return.

“The thing of it is, this guy didn’t do anything wrong,” Gajek said. “He didn’t steal my ring. I gave it to him.”

Gajek is asking anyone who has the ring or who might know where it is to contact her directly at 1-250-538-8061 or drop the ring off at the Salvation Army Community Services Office, located in the New Hope Centre at 19 Nicol St.


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