WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We all have something that means the world to us. Maybe it is a piece of jewelry, a family heirloom, or maybe even baseball cards.
For one Wilmington man it was a ring, a ring he had to sell during tough times. But nearly a decade later Philip White has his prized ring back in his possession.
“It was overwhelmingly emotional,” White said. “And one of the best gifts, if not the best gift that I’ve ever received in my life.”
It was an anniversary surprise unlike any other.
“He was going to cry like a baby when I gave it to him,” White’s girlfriend, Cramer Vaughan said.
On Saturday, March 17, White got into his car to find his old ring under the radio, placed there by Vaughan.
“When I talked to her I was like, ‘You know I have to be at work, right? I’m in a suit. I’m not supposed to be sitting here bawling crying,'” White said.
It is not just a piece of jewelry to White.
“It was kind of my gift to myself,” White said. “My first kind of I’m an adult I pay my own bills.”
White bought the ring in 2003, but eight years ago he had to let it go.
“I had a situation where I was in between jobs and sadly had to pawn the ring in order to keep from being evicted,” White said.
For years, White had searched for the specific ring with a scratch underneath the jewel so he knew it was his.
“I’ve checked pretty frequently at various pawn shops just kind of blindly hoping that one day it might turn up,” White said.
But White never found it. Lucky for him, while searching for a laptop Vaughan stopped by Picasso Pawn in Wilmington and something special caught her eye.
“Walked in, and there was the ring. So I kind of looked at it, glanced at it, and was like, ‘Maybe that’s not it.’ I went ahead and found a laptop. Left. And then it kept gnawing on me for a week,” Vaughan said. “And so I went back and said, ‘Give me that ring right now.'”
So Vaughan decided to surprise White.
“What’s the odds after eight years and it circling around Wilmington and the price of the metal and gold right now that that ring would be available. And knowing how important it was to him. What an easy anniversary gift. To get him something that he’s long and lost,” Vaughan said.
What was once lost, has now been found.
“Before the ring kind of signified me, my personal journey into adulthood,” White said. “From now on it’ll just symbolize how much she cares for me.”
White said because of surgery he will have to get the ring resized to fit the finger he used to wear it on.
White said he will never pawn it again. He hopes to keep it in the family and eventually pass it down.