A diamond’s value is measured by the 4Cs: cut, carat, clarity, and color. But for Alabama bride Brooke Leavins, her new $5,000 sparkler was priceless. That’s why she and her husband Steven never gave up hope after Brooke accidentally flung the ring into a river a few weeks ago.
The Leavins were out on their pontoon boat on the Coosa River when Brooke took her ring off to apply sunscreen. She had the diamond pinched between two fingers, but when a bug flew nearby she instinctively reached out to swat the bug — and the ring went flying out of her grip. She had only had the one-of-a-kind ring, which was her engagement ring and wedding band soldered together, since March.
As a dutiful new husband, Steven immediately dove in after the engagement ring, but couldn’t find it in the murky river water. Downtrodden and in disbelief, the Leavins took pictures of their exact location before leaving so they could remember where to return when they had the proper equipment for a diamond fishing expedition.
While 93% of brides now use the Internet to plan their wedding, Brooke looked to the world wide web to find a professional scuba diver that could bring back her invaluable ring. As of 2015, about 3.27 million Americans go scuba diving every year; however, far fewer people work as professional divers. Even among these elite diving pros, wedding ring hunts are few and far between.
Brooke frantically messaged a handful of local scuba divers to recruit their help, but the majority responded that it would be almost impossible to find the diamond in the rough.
That is until Spencer Phillips, a scuba instructor and co-owner of Southern Skin Divers Supply, responded back a few days later saying he would be happy to search for the ring with a little help from his underwater metal detector.
Thanks to the pictures snapped by the quick-thinking couple, the Leavins were able to return to the exact location where the diamond went missing. Even better, Phillips was able to anchor himself to a discarded boat propeller on the riverbed, which allowed him to stay in the same spot and search every nook and cranny of the area. After 30 minutes of searching, Phillips came up.
“He didn’t say right away that he had it,” Brooke explained to ABC News. “I think he winked at my husband and then he came back around to the back of the boat to get back in. He got up on the boat and he peeled back his glove and out comes the ring. Before he showed it to me he said, ‘I don’t know if this is the right ring but it’s a nice one.’”
Phillips explained that he was willing to help out because he was confident he could be up to the challenge of finding a needle in a haystack. He was also thankful the Leavins didn’t wait too long to contact him, as the changing tides could have really hindered the search result.
With Brooke’s ring miraculously back on her ring finger, the Leavins have now made an additional wedding vow — their wedding rings will never leave the safety of land, ever again.