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The rock Elizabeth stepped on in San Francisco

Thursday, December 20th, 2012 | Posted by


BY CHRIS SMITH/The Press Democrat

In San Francisco to see the holiday lights and sights, 12-year-old Elizabeth Caughey of Kenwood was having a merely marvelous time until something extraordinary happened.

The diamond ring Elizabeth Caughey nearly tripped on.

The Rincon Valley Middle School student and her friend and the friend’s folks were walking through the gloriously bedecked lobby of the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero when she stepped on something.

Something big.

“It was the hugest diamond ring,” said Elizabeth’s mother, Mary. The stone was set in an abundance of platinum.

Elizabeth immediately took the find to her friend’s mother. They agreed it was best to take the ring back to Santa Rosa and then set out to find its owner.

Back home, Mary Caughey examined the wedding ring and estimated that it would easily have cost $20,000. She and Elizabeth went on-line and Googled lost.. diamond ring…San Francisco.

Up popped a fresh lost-ring post on Craigslist. Elizabeth and Mary were certain from the description in the ad that they had the lost ring.

They emailed the person who’d placed the post. Soon they received a phone call from a Marin C0unty woman overcome with relief and joy and gratitude.

She told the Caugheys she was at the Hyatt Regency the same day Elizabeth and her friends were there and she was darting about behind her 2-year-old in the lobby. When she discovered the wedding ring designed by her husband had fallen off, she searched the lobby frantically but came up empty-handed.

She and her husband and child met Elizabeth and Mary at a freeway-side Starbucks in Novato. Elizabeth didn’t want a reward but the couple insisted she and her mom accept a very nice assortment of ceramics by Heath of Sausalito.

The entire experience has Elizabeth’s mother feeling ever more awed by the power of the Internet to bring people together, and by Elizabeth.

“I am so over-the-moon proud of her,” she said of her seventh-grade gem.


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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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