FORKS TWP., Pa. - Anna and Hans Smestad are about to celebrate 64 years of marriage, but they remember their golden anniversary like it was yesterday.
"We decided to have rings made in Norway from this jeweler that we knew," Anna explained.
"We took some gold with us from here," added Hans. "Some scrap gold we had laying around here."
"He made a ring for each of us for our 50th wedding anniversary, which was very special," smiled Anna.
They had the matching gold rings inscribed with their names and the date.
But two years after getting the set, Anna lost hers.
She thinks the ring accidentally went down the toilet.
"When I lost it I was devastated."
So devastated, Anna and Hans had the exact same ring re-made a few years later.
Little did they know, the original piece of jewelry was just down the street from their Adrian Drive home the whole time.
A plumbing issue helped lead them to the missing ring.
"We had water coming up down in the basement," described Hans.
When a plumber couldn't pin-point the problem inside the Smestad's house, a crew with the Forks Township Department of Public works was called in.
Workers made the discovery inside the neighborhood sewer line.
"My husband comes running in and he had a tissue in his hand and he goes 'look what they found'," Anna said. "And I go what is it? Your ring. My ring? I almost fainted."
The ring is in almost perfect condition, but there is some superficial damage from being under the street for 12 years.
It was the inscription that confirmed it belonged to Anna.
"It says Din Hans, that means 'your Hans' in Norwegian," explained Hans.
A local jewelry store is working to see if the ring can be restored, but it's already stood the test of time, just like the Smestad's relationship.
"It's unbelievable," Hans laughed. "I think it's one in a million."
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News