The loose diamond left in a Salvation Army kettle at Christmastime has a new life: as the centerpiece of a ring that may soon be someone's Valentine.
The Salvation Army is teaming with a Kansas City, Mo., jewelry store to auction the ring on eBay. Bidding starts Tuesday and will go on until Feb. 7, with proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army.
"It is a very unique opportunity; we're excited about it," said Michele Heaver, The Salvation Army Corps officer for Kansas City, Kan. "The money that is gleaned off the auction will go toward helping needy families in our community."
Someone dropped the diamond, a .82-carat European-cut stone that Meierotto Midwest Jewelers estimated to be 100 years old, into the red kettle at the Walmart on Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road. Salvation Army volunteers discovered the gem, which was folded in a piece of paper, while they were counting the kettle's contents the evening of Nov. 30.
Hoping that auctioning a complete ring could bring more money for The Salvation Army, Meierotto has donated the ring, an 18-karat white gold setting with .5 carats of small diamonds covering the band and encircling the round center stone.
The setting has a vintage feel to match the diamond's age, Ted Meierotto said.
"You want to get something that looks proportional and makes the diamond look wonderful," he said.
Meierotto said he was excited about the auction.
"We were touched by the whole story," he said.
Beginning Tuesday morning, find more information online at mjewelry.com/salvationarmydiamond.aspx. Search eBay for item number 280815255278.