Only on eBay: After 30 Years, Woman Finds Long-Lost Family Heirloom on the World's Largest Marketplace
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Millions of eBay buyers experience the thrill of discovery every day – whether they’re shopping for clothes, finding rare collectibles or connecting with other people. Recently, a Northern California woman learned the eBay Marketplace can even bring closure to a lifelong quest.
During the Dust Bowl days of the 20s and 30s, Darva Campbell’s Arkansas-based grandparents sold the family mule and raised enough money to head West, eventually settling near the Oregon-California border. Darva’s grandfather couldn’t afford a wedding ring when the couple first married, but he worked hard over the years and saved up enough to buy one for $10. The ring was distinctive: a gold band with an intricately carved setting and a small diamond. Through the years, the ring got a little dinged up, including a mark on the side of the band. It was handed down over the generations and Darva wore it when she went to college in Portland, Ore., in 1978.
In 1981, Darva’s apartment was burglarized and her jewelry stolen. Darva never told her mother or grandmother the ring was taken. Instead, she searched pawn shops everywhere to see if it would turn up. It didn’t. Over time, Darva started to collect antique jewelry and her hobby turned into a small business as she sold her pieces at antique fairs and shops. In the late 90s, she started buying her jewelry on eBay and she searched for “old diamond ring” thousands of times.
In September 2009, Darva saw a blurred photo of a ring that looked like her grandmother’s on eBay. She contacted the seller – who was based in the Midwest – inquired about the ring, and placed a $500 maximum bid to make sure she won the auction. She wound up paying about $100 for it. The ring arrived in what she described as “15-thousand pounds of tape and bubble wrap” and she furiously chopped her way through the packaging to see if her long search was over. It was.
The ring was just as she remembered it, right down to the mark on the side of the band. Today, the ring is finally where it belongs – on Darva Campbell's finger.