After dumping diamonds, woman digs through trash to get them back

Posted April 25

A Massachusetts woman gives new meaning to finding a diamond in the rough.

Cecelia Callahan took off her diamond jewelry to clean it only to carelessly toss it in the garbage. Her journey to find her jewels literally stunk, but the payoff was well worth it.

Last week, in preparation for an anniversary date, Callahan dropped her six carats worth of diamonds into an ultrasonic cleaner.

Her pieces included some with sentimental value.

"I've had this since I was 10 years old," she said. "This belonged to my grandmother. This is my wedding ring."

After a good cleaning, she left the diamonds out to dry on a paper towel and forgot about them.

The next day, in a rush to get the trash out the door, Callahan scooped up the paper towel and the diamonds it held.

"I heard the trash men coming, and I said, 'Oh, I have one more bag to go out.'"

Three hours later, she put two and two together.

Thanks to some good advice from a neighbor, Callahan was able to find out who picks up her trash and where it was sent.

Then, she did the unthinkable. With the help of her husband and some hardy volunteers, Callahan combed through five tons of trash, looking for a treasure.

"I was starting to get unfocused because I was intimidated by the amount of trash," she said. "It was high, taller than me.

Callahan did eventually find her diamonds.

"I was so excited I gave my husband a big kiss," she said.

More importantly, she says she learned a valuable lesson about how to treat people, a lesson she calls priceless.

"You know they are just rings. Those men, in this day and age, with all the problems in the world, just to meet nice people. You treat people the way you want to be treated," she said.

Officials say about a half dozen similar searches have taken place there in the past 20 years.


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