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Published April 25, 2013, 11:40 PM

Lost + found: Losing a wedding ring can be devastating, no matter its value

When Britta Trygstad left Spicy Pie for a lunchtime date with her husband, she thought her wedding ring was gone forever.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

FARGO - When Britta Trygstad left Spicy Pie for a lunchtime date with her husband, she thought her wedding ring was gone forever.

Her fingers shrink in the winter, and it’d come off with her glove before.

“So here I’m thinking that my ring was at Spicy Pie, in the glove,” says the 30-year-old Moorhead woman.

Fortunately, a few days later, she found her plain $100 band in her family’s communal hats-and-mittens bin.

“At the bottom of this tote was my ring. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it was in there,” she says.

But in the time that Trygstad was without the ring symbolizing her seven-year marriage to Kris Kerzman, she felt like a piece of her was missing.

“Every time I realized it wasn’t there, I got anxious,” she says.

She wears her ring 24/7 – even while sleeping, showering and cleaning – and has a habit of spinning it on her finger, which she does more often now that it’s back in her possession.

“It’s like I’m making sure it’s still there,” she says.

The Fargo-based wedding and lifestyle photographer has seen plenty of extravagant rings in her line of work, but they’re not “her.” She prefers her simple wedding band.

“It’s scratched and worn out, but it’s mine,” she says.

When 33-year-old former Moorhead resident Nate Sjol lost his wedding ring, he wasn’t so lucky as to find it afterward.

While visiting friends in Europe, his then-fiancée found what she thought was a perfect wedding band for him.

“I love the ring she got for me. Diamond-encrusted, slightly thin and almost delicate, yet it looked at home on my scarred, calloused fingers,” he says.

The young couple, who now live in Portland, Ore., had only been married for three months when his ring went missing among flour, cheese and olives in the summer of 2002.

Sjol was working at a gourmet pizza place at the time and had gotten into the habit of putting his ring in a pants pocket during his shifts.

“All the flour and food and gunk gummed up my ring pretty badly, and it wasn’t exactly comfortable to wear while washing dishes,” he says.

On the way home after a particularly busy night at the little Portland pizzeria, Sjol made an unpleasant discovery.

“About halfway to our apartment, I reach into my pocket for my ring,” he says. “It’s gone.”

He made wife Sara, who was driving, go back to the restaurant, where they were able to catch the manager locking up.

“I explain that I lost my ring and beg him to let me in,” he says.

The ring was nowhere to be found inside, so Sjol headed to the Dumpster and proceeded to sift through that night’s garbage under the parking lot light.

“I may have gone through it three-four times, but it was at least twice,” he says.

He cried and apologized on the whole drive home after finding nothing in his search but garbage.

“I took it harder than she did, because I knew how much it meant to her to have found the ring in Italy,” Sjol says.

The thought crossed his mind that his ring might’ve been baked into someone’s order, but he later found a hole in his pants pocket.

“The ring could’ve fallen out anywhere,” he says.

A few months later, Sara bought him a new ring that he wears on a chain around his neck, but Sjol still misses the band he lost more than 10 years ago.

“Any time I see a picture of us when we were younger, I think about it. I can still picture it exactly,” he says.

Police assistance

The Fargo Police Department sees plenty of jewelry come through its offices, but wedding rings get a little extra attention.

No matter their monetary value, there’s much more of an attachment to them.

“It’s a symbol of their relationship, and we understand the importance of that,” Lt. Joel Vettel says.

That’s why local police occasionally get involved when a wedding ring turns up in a business or a public space.

The Moorhead Police Department, for example, assisted Menards when a men’s wedding ring was found in the hardware store this winter.

“We feel a responsibility if we’re aware of property that isn’t claimed,” Lt. Tory Jacobson says.

Neither police department “advertises” found wedding rings, but instead asks anyone attempting to claim a ring to describe and identify it.

“If we’re not sure or something doesn’t feel right, we’ll try to dig a little deeper,” Vettel says.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590