It graced her finger for 59 years, was in her husband's family for more than 100 years and now is lost or stolen.
Berneice Applegarth, 76, is heartbroken.The one-carat diamond ring given to her in 1939 when she agreed to become the bride of Robert Applegarth has mysteriously disappeared.
Earlier this summer, the Riverton woman's ring was taken to Morgan Jewelers at South Towne Mall in Sandy because it had a loose stone. From there, because there was no jeweler on site, it was delivered by courier to the Morgan Jewelers store at Crossroads Mall in Salt Lake City, where it was repaired.
After that, no one is sure what happened.
Applegarth's son, Bill, said the family learned of the ring's disappearance when they went to the business to pick it up.
"This has been very emotional for my mother. Almost every day she calls me to learn what I found out about it. She cries about it," he said.
Ray Bertoldi, general manager of Morgan Jewelers, said the ring was picked up by a Federal Express courier to be returned to the Sandy store.
But Bill Applegarth said there is no paper trail documenting the ring was ever in the hands of the courier.
With the ring missing since July, Bill Applegarth filed a report with the Salt Lake Police Department documenting the ring's disappearance. The police department, in turn, promised to notify area pawn shops to be on the lookout for the ring. In addition to the one-carat diamond setting in the family heirloom, the ring has three diamonds on either side of the main stone and is in a platinum setting, which Applegarth said is characteristic of the time.
"I can't think of anything else my mother had that had as much emotional significance as that ring," Applegarth said. "He always bought things for her, but it was purchases they made together. This was a true gift from him."
Berneice and Robert Applegarth were high school sweethearts, both originating from struggling families. In 1939, he proposed to her and by 1940, they were married. He has since died.
"I never took that ring off," she said. "I am not a person who likes a lot of flashy jewelry, but that ring, I treasured."
Bill Applegarth said the diamond had been in the family for generations, but the ring itself was the result of hard work and a lot of savings on the part of his father.
"It was a major thing for him to come up with the money for that. He was working as a glazer for $17 a week, so you realize just how much he sacrificed to buy the ring."
The ring has been valued at $5,000 and both companies that at one point had possession of the ring are working with the Applegarth family to settle the issue of the missing ring.
Morgan Jewelers has offered to either replace the lost engagement ring with a ring of their own valued at $5,000 or to give them $2,500 in cash, Bertoldi said.
Federal Express spokesman Cornell Christion said the security department is investigating the disappearance of the ring.
"We regard this as a very unusual and unfortunate incident."
Investigations aside, the Applegarths said they just want the missing ring returned.
"I don't want their money or a new ring. A new ring means nothing to me, that ring did," Berneice Applegarth said. "I just didn't expect this to happen."