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Petaluma Goldsmith thanks good Samaritan who returned lost $23,000 Taylor Swift-inspired diamond ring

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When Petaluma goldsmith Jordan Mantzke realized he’d lost a diamond-encrusted engagement ring worth $23,000 ‒ unknowingly dropping it as he exited his vehicle near the Keller Street parking garage in downtown Petaluma ‒ he feared that the ring, the largest he’d ever made, was gone for good.

 

 

 

“My desperation grew as the hours passed,” he recalled, “and I began thinking about how I was going to recover from the financial loss.”

Fortunately, thanks to a virtuous good Samaritan named Ken, who spied the ring on the sidewalk ‒ still in the jewelry box

Mantzke had been transporting it in ‒ the worst was avoided. Now, a relieved Mantzke just wants Ken to know how grateful he is.

With a 10-carat, emerald-cut, lab-grown diamond valued at $20,000, the ring was designed, constructed and assembled as part of a YouTube video challenge Mantzke set for himself.

It started with a simple idea,” he says on the video that eventually appeared online. “’What kind of engagement ring would I make for Taylor Swift?’”

Under the branded label of “Modern Goldsmith,” Mantze has created dozens of entertaining videos describing his work. Some of them have been viewed more than a million times. The Taylor Swift challenge was just for fun, of course, and to demonstrate how the creation of a gold-and-diamond ring is carried out.

I actually recorded the entire process of me making the ring,” Mantzke said. “That is part of the reason why losing the ring hurt so bad. The monetary aspect obviously, but I had also spent many days crafting and filming the project, only to lose it at the very end.”

How, exactly, did he come to lose such a valuable object?

“My mom had flown into town from Washington State that same morning,” Mantzke explained. “I picked her up from the airport and had brought the ring along so I could show her my work. After admiring the ring, she turned her focus to grandkids and I decided to go into work for a few hours.” He drove downtown, parked, got out of the van and walked to the studio. “I did not notice that the ring was gone for many hours after, as I thought it was in my work bag the entire time.”

In retrospect, he now guesses that he somehow had the ring in his lap when he climbed out of the van.

My family and I searched for hours at my home and at my shop and retraced our steps around town,” he said. They visited any and every spot he might have dropped the ring: the Alphabet Soup thrift stores, Petaluma Market, even El Roy’s Taco Truck.

Mantzke said that it was out of character for him to transport a ring the way he did, which is why he “tore his house and shop apart” looking for it.

“It just didn’t seem plausible that I would have actually lost it in such a careless way,” he said. “I had invested my own money to make this ring. It wasn’t a client’s ring, therefore I felt OK with taking it home with me.”

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