HALIFAX, N.S. - A Halifax woman who accidentally donated her lifelong collection of gold, diamonds and pearls is hoping against the odds that her jewelry will be returned.
Jane Lowe realized too late that her husband had stashed a Ziploc bag of valuable gifts and family heirlooms in a bag of donation-ready clothes when the couple was headed out of town.
The treasures included a string of pearls gifted from her father, a gold tennis bracelet, diamond and amethyst earrings and gold necklaces from a family member who passed away.
Lowe contacted Diabetes Canada, which picked up the clothes, and the Value Village locations where the bag could have ended up.
Lowe was told the bag was likely shipped to the Charlottetown, P.E.I. Value Village store. CBC reported that staff are instructed to bring items such as bags of jewelry to the attention of a manager, but Lowe was told nothing had been brought forward.
The people she's spoken with have been accommodating and eager to help, but it's now a waiting game for a possible miracle return of her collection.
“I'm hopeful that we get it back, but I don't really have any concrete sort of reason to be hopeful. It's just, I guess, luck, isn't it?” Lowe said Friday from her home in Halifax.
While the value is certainly significant for some of the lost treasures, Lowe doesn't think most of the items could be sold to a pawn shop for their original price — the biggest blow has been the loss of irreplaceable heirlooms.
Some items, including an emerald and diamond pendant, were especially valuable, but Lowe said the sentimental value of her grandmother's imitation pearls, for example, couldn't possibly be assigned a price.
“Sometimes whether it's real or not doesn't matter, it's what it meant to you,” she said.
The mistake was an honest miscommunication.
Lowe had already sorted the bags and didn't think to look through them, and she didn't know where he had hidden the bag, something he does as a precaution when they leave the house for a lengthy period of time.
“We're kicking ourselves now, of course, but I just didn't think to ask him,” she said.
The loss of so many memory-laden items has been saddening. Lowe hoped to give the jewelry to her children and granddaughters one day, but she's trying to stay positive and appreciate her life's other blessings.
“We're healthy and we have a good life, so you have to think of those things.”
By Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John's, N.L.
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