A Canadian lady ended up with a delightful surprise when she bought a 50 cent box of cotton swabs at a local thrift store.
Like many other older women, retiree Loretta Simms from British Columbia, Canada prefer to hunt for bargains at their local thrift stores. She likes to hunt for the cheapest bargain she could get. So the local thrift store would be her favorite spot to visit.
In January 2018, Simms went to Cowichan Hospital Auxillary Thrift Store to search for some cheap products.
When she was looking through all the old and used products, she came across a box of cotton swabs priced at 50 cents and it attracted her. Cotton swabs priced at 50 cents per box is considered cheap to buy and plus, the box was quite large. It was also quite heavy so Simms thought that it might be an unopened box of cotton swabs.
Happy with her product, Simms then bought the box of cotton swabs.
She was happy with her purchase because this large box of cotton swabs could at least last for a few months
When she got home, Simms felt excited with her purchase and quickly opened the box of cotton swabs. Quickly, she took out a packet of cotton swabs as she wanted to refill the almost empty cotton swab container in her bathroom. When Simms opened the packet of cotton swabs, the contents of the packet gave her a big surprise!
Apparently, the packet of cotton swabs did not contain cotton swabs at all. Instead, the box turned out to be a jewelry box. Upon emptying the contents found in the cotton swabs box, Simms was surprised to find 8 rings and a pearl necklace!
“Oh my God!” Simms shouted out. “This is so unbelievable!”
Following her discovery, Simms told the media about her precious findings. 8 rings and each of them had a precious stone on it. There were rubies, diamonds and sapphires and so on.
The pearl necklace looked elegant as each pearl on the necklace was very round and the size of the pearls was uniform
Simms said that she nearly dropped the tray of jewelry when she knew that these were genuine jewelry. Simms then sent these rings to be evaluated and she found out that the market price of this jewelry is priced at USD1,800.
Even though she was terrific with her luck, Simms decided to return this jewelry to Cowichan Hospital Auxillary Thrift Store.
Simms said: “I felt that this jewelry does not belong to me.” She did not feel happy after getting this unexpected fortune and instead, she thought that this jewelry must be returned to their original owners as soon as possible.
The thrift store’s workers were surprised when Simms came to the store with the jewelry and told them that she wanted to return the jewelry.
The store’s manager Arlene Cristofoli said that she got a surprise of her life when Simms came to return the jewelry. She said that: “When I received this box of cotton swabs, I did not think much of it but quickly gave it a reasonable price and put it on the shelf for sale.”
All the workers in this thrift shop are all volunteer workers. The money collected from the sales minus expenses will then be donated to local hospitals.
All the volunteer workers were surprised by Simms actions of returning the jewelry and they were touched by her actions.
One of the workers said: “It really was surprising! She returned the jewelry to the shop. It truly was great of her!”
Cristofoli said that the owner of this jewelry box could never be found again. She said that it belonged to a local lady who had passed away of natural causes. Her brother who lived overseas returned and arranged for her funeral. He also packed her belongings and put them away nicely. This box of cotton swabs was one of the many items that he brought in to the store.
This batch of jewelry would be quickly arranged for a quick sale so that the earnings could be donated to the hospital to aid the sick people.
Simms was very happy with the outcome. She smiled and said: “Buying a jewelry box at 50 cents will be the talk of our town for the next few years to come!”
“If someone asks me: ‘Have you bought anything from thrift stores before?’ I would happily reply: “Why yes of course!'” saidSimmss with a broad smile on her face.
It was certainly a courageous and great act that Simms showed when she decided to return the jewelry box to the thrift store although she could keep them as her own. Bravo, Simms!