• Spain's news in English
Benidorm diver finds ring lost 37 years ago... and returns it
The ring was lost while swimming in the summer of 1979. Photo: Jessy Cuesta

Benidorm diver finds ring lost 37 years ago... and returns it

Fiona Govan · 14 Sep 2016, 11:36

Published: 14 Sep 2016 11:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

When something glittered and caught her eye on the ocean floor at a depth of about seven meters she reached for it.

Photo: Jessy is a driving instructor at the Nisos Benidorm dive centre. Photo: Jessy Cuesta

And what she pulled out from the silt was a gold wedding ring, inscribed with the name Juani and the date, February 17th 1979.

"It just became very important to me to find the owner," Cuesta told The Local over the telephone from the Nisos Dive Centre in Benidorm."I knew it must have been important to someone and wanted to return it."

She posted a photograph of the find on Facebook and asked her friends to share it in the hope of tracing the couple who married on that date and who had visited Benidorm but did not reveal the name inscribed, knowing that would only be known to the true owner.

"I found a wedding ring diving off the island of Benidorm. I wish I could give it back to the owner. It has been lost for a long, long time because it was covered in sediment," she wrote.

The post was shared more than 78,000 times and had the desired effect. Jessy was contacted by more than 300 people but none of them matched the name that was inscribed in the ring.

Then she finally got the call she had been waiting for. From Juani herself.

"I hadn’t told anyone the name inscribed so when I was contacted by someone called Juani I gave a cry of joy!" explained Cuesta.

Juani explained that she believed it to be her husband Augustine’s wedding ring, a ring he lost five months into their marriage as they went swimming off Benidorm Island.

The couple who married in Benidorm but now live in Uteba, Zaragoza where they run a bar, are overjoyed at the discovery.

"It was a huge surprise that after 37 years someone found it and we heard about it" Augustine Aliaga, the owner of the missing ring told local newspaper Heraldo de Aragon, explaining that his wife’s family still live in Benidorm and that her niece had seen the post.

Story continues below…

He clearly remembers the day he lost the ring in the summer of 1979."My in-laws always used to travel across to the island for a day in July for lunch. I went swimming and then suddenly realized that I had lost the ring. I spent a long time search for the ring but to no avail," he said.

"It’s a happy surprise, not because of the material value but the important symbolic and emotional value as it is the ring with which we were married in church."

Cuesta will travel to Zaragoza next week to return the ring in person. "I could've just sent it in the post but then I thought how exciting it would be to see the moment they are reunited with something lost so long ago, the symbol of the love of a couple that are still happy together today," she said. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available