For half of Perla MacLeod’s marriage she’s been missing a sparkling reminder of her husband’s love.

A diamond solitaire given to her served as a symbol of sacrifice.

“He proposed in my apartment,” said MacLeod, seated at her kitchen table in Big Baddeck.

“It’s funny, at that time he was single and had no money, so he sold his car for the ring.”

From another room in their comfy home, Craig MacLeod bellowed that it wasn’t just any car – it was one that he adored.

“A MONTE CARLO – not a car,” he said. “A 1986 Monte.”

Originally from Mexico City and later living in Veracruz, MacLeod met Craig while studying English in Halifax.

At the time, she said the boilermaker was practically living out of his burgundy two-door coupe while moving around to different job sites. Together, the pair travelled in the vehicle on trips throughout Nova Scotia and to the United States.

“It had a big trunk, I remember, and he kept everything in there,” MacLeod said.

Roughly a year after Perla’s arrival in Nova Scotia, the couple were married. They now have three children: Mary, 14, Isabella, 10, and Alexander, 8.

The MacLeods eventually settled in Craig’s hometown where things were quiet until Christmas eve about six or seven years ago.

Perla's diamond ring
Perla’s diamond ring

MacLeod’s purse was snatched from her unlocked vehicle during a snowstorm.

The first-term councillor for Victoria County said both her engagement ring and wedding band were inside the bag. She had removed her jewellery while working shifts that weekend at a nearby café.

“We live in the country, and you don’t expect anyone to take your bag,” she said. “It was mostly shock that someone came and opened our vehicle.”

But MacLeod admits she should have known better.

“The cops came and they went searching,” she said. “They said we couldn’t find it. I was thinking my purse was in the Seal Island Bridge. I thought somebody threw it in the river.”

The couple started locking their doors and searched the local area but nothing was ever found.

Craig talked about buying new rings, but life in a busy household meant the money never materialized.

“Eventually, you know – the ring is not the most important. Let it go, it’s OK,” MacLeod said.

And so, the family believed the ring was gone forever. That was, until a recent spring cleanup. A classmate of MacLeod’s youngest daughter was out collecting litter about 500 metres from the MacLeod’s Zion Road property when she noticed a brown purse soaked in mud.

Ten-year-old Addyson Garland picked up the decomposing satchel – only to find a diamond ring underneath.

The bag also contained readable motor-vehicle registration papers.

“The name of my husband was there,” MacLeod said. “The parents figured out who was this person … so they came to see us and asked, ‘This is yours?’ And I said, YES that’s my ring.”

MacLeod, who took part in the cleanup in another location, believes many adults would have missed the bag.

“Kids are more curious,” she said. “I appreciate it. She, just her, could have found it.

“I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe I have the ring back.”

MacLeod said since the ring’s return, her husband has jokingly re-proposed in front of their kids.

She accepted the offer.

The family said a metal detector was later used to search for MacLeod’s missing wedding band, but It was never found.

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