Justin and Margaret Mussel are living proof that miracles really happen—and sometimes more than once. The New Jersey-based couple got married in June 2006, and two years later, flew halfway across the world for a visit to San Marco dei Cavoti, a southern Italian town where Margaret’s family owns a home.
There, the unthinkable happened. The couple had visited Pompeii earlier that day, and the hot weather, combined with exhaustion after a packed day, led to Margaret losing her engagement ring.
“At first I was very upset. I had spent a lot of time saving for it and picking it out, but after the initial shock had worn off, I knew that it would be okay,” Justin tells The Knot. “Meeting Margaret was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Just having her as my wife was all I needed. The ring could be replaced but nobody could ever replace her.”
Margaret tells The Knot that she “felt really bad” about losing it, but after the couple searched around the house for days, they assumed the ring was as good as gone.
Fast-forward nine years later, and the Mussels returned to San Marco dei Cavoti, this time with their two sons—Aiden, 8, and Landon, 6—in tow. One afternoon, after Margaret and Justin had taken the boys to the piazza, they were ready to rest up back at the house when Justin spotted something unusual out of the corner of his eye.
“We sat on a bench outside the house since it was a nice night,” Margaret says. “As we were sitting there, Justin said that every time a car drove by, he would notice something sparkling on the sidewalk. He pointed it out but [I] didn’t notice anything. After about 10 minutes he kept seeing something sparkling. He ran inside and came out with a screwdriver. He went over to the crack and started digging around the dirt. All of a sudden, he said, ‘No, it can’t be. I don’t believe this,’ and pulled the ring out.”
The couple could scarcely believe it, but after rushing into the house to make sure her new ring (which Justin had bought her following the loss of the first engagement ring) was there, they determined that the newly uncovered ring was indeed the original 1.1 karat princess-cut diamond they had lost nearly a decade ago.
“I couldn’t believe that Justin found it. I think we were both in shock,” Margaret says. Aside from a few scratches on the band, the ring is as good as new.
As for the second, newer engagement ring, the Mussels say they already have plans: “We would like to keep the newer one for when one of our boys gets married!”