Occasionally, a random, completely irrelevant loose end springs to my mind, and gnaws away at my sanity. Today, I've been preoccupied with The Mystery of the Missing Ring.

Until several years ago, my parents (read: my mother) were (was?) in possession of Aunt E's hideous ring, or, as I like to call it, The Opal Monstrosity. This singularly unattractive gold ring featured a large opal and about 10-15 small diamonds clustered around it haphazardly in ropey, uneven settings. The ring was so spectacularly ugly that it managed to make the reasonably nice gemstones in it look like costume jewelry. It was a semi-precious nightmare. If you wanted to look like you had a jewel-encrusted boil on your hand, this was the ring for you. Also, it weighed a ton. And did I mention it was enormous?

The mysterious thing about this ring (other than the mystery of "OMG, what were they thinking?!?) is that it has disappeared. It hasn't been misplaced, of this we're certain. To my knowledge, my mother has NEVER worn it (why would she?) and until its disappearance, it resided in the top drawer of her jewelry box. Theft is the logical solution, if equally ridiculous. None of my mother's other jewelry is missing. If someone has indeed stolen it, they had to bypass other, more attractive (and potentially more valuable) pieces of jewelry, and specifically select THAT ring.

Here's what I know about it. My parents came into possession of the ring many years ago, when Aunt E and Jim were in a bit of a financial pinch. My parents gave them a certain amount of money ($800 is what I heard), and, not being one to ask for charity, yet not in a position to refuse, Aunt E gave my parents The Opal Monstrosity. It lived in my mother's jewelry box for years, and I remember marveling at its twisted, misshapen form as a young girl. Then, several years ago, somewhere between 5 and 10 years, actually, the ring simply disappeared. Vanished. Gone. No one has any idea what happened to it.

Now, while a ring of such personality and fascinating ugliness has many powers, self-relocation is not one of them. Someone moved that ring. I'm sure any statute of limitations re:theft have long since expired, and I'm just dying to know what happened to it! Where did Aunt E get it? (Why did she ever own it?) When did she give it to my parents? How much did they "pay" her for it? When did it disappear? Where did it go? Who took it there?

If you know anything about the history or disappearance of this ring, if you remember anyone wearing it (ever), or know of any anecdotes regarding it, I'd love to hear them!