A New Jersey woman thought her diamond wedding ring was lost forever when she accidentally flushed it down the toilet nine years ago.
But thanks to a public works employee with a keen eye she was reunited with it.
Paula Stanton, 60, received the gold ring encrusted with several diamonds from her husband as a gift for their 20th wedding anniversary. Nine years ago while she was cleaning, the ring slipped off her finger and down the drain it went.
"It was heartbreaking," Stanton told CNN affiliate WPVI . "I was embarrassed to tell my husband because it was meaningful."
Her husband bought her duplicate ring as a replacement, but Stanton said she always hoped that maybe one day the original would be found.
Two years ago, she talked to Ted Gogol of the Somers Point Public Works Department and explained what had happened. Gogol told her he had never come across the ring but would keep her in mind.
Last month, as he was working on a pipe about 400 feet away from Stanton's house, Gogol saw something glimmer and shine in the muck. He plucked the shiny metal object out of the pipe, cleaned it off, and sure enough it was the long-lost diamond ring.
"That ring didn't want to leave her family," Gogol told WPVI. "There are so many things that could have happened. It could have been washed away, it could have been crushed, but it was just meant to be."
Stanton couldn't believe the news when she saw a note on her door from the public works department.
When Gogol brought her the ring she said, "You are like a Christmas angel."
Stanton now wears both rings and vows not to lose them.