A lost ring circles back

Lloyd K. Rector carefully removes the ring from an envelope, then opens a small plastic jewelers’ bag. The ring was presented to the Wake Forest College Bachelor of Laws Class of 1953. The initials “LKR” are engraved on the inside; the university motto, class information and the symbol for the international legal fraternity — Phi Delta Phi – are carved on the ring’s surface.

Written on the plastic bag: “10 karats, 17.6 grams.”

A cursory glance shows the ring to be ordinary, forgettable even, except for the obvious damage. A black onyx, the centerpiece around the gold casing, is missing. As Rector pictures it in his mind, he remembers that the stone bore a small crack, the result of an accident during military basic training.

Now in place of the stone is a hole, its jagged edges worn from time yet clearly visible.

How long the stone has been missing is unknown, but the plastic bag shows the stone was probably sold, though maybe not by the person who found it in Gander, Newfoundland, on a cold December day 52 years ago.

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