Adam McKaig and Carla Dobbs
Carla Dobbs and Adam McKaig are now bonded by an antique silver band with a 2-karat diamond. Dobbs’ lost ring was found by McKaig outside the Albertsons in Carpinteria. “I am absolutely thrilled to have it back,” she says. “There still are really good people who will reach out and help other people.” (McKaig family photo)

For three agonizing days, Carla Dobbs waited and wondered.

Would she ever find her lost 2-karat diamond ring, handed down from her grandmother and more than 100 years old?

She even prayed to Saint Jude because she thought he was the patron saint of lost things.

It was the wrong saint, but apparently Saint Anthony was also listening, because the Carpinteria woman found her ring, thanks to the kindness and determination of a Montecito man.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have it back,” Dobbs told Noozhawk. “There still are really good people who will reach out and help other people.”

Although she didn’t know it at the time, the ring slipped off Dobbs’ finger on Aug. 18, while she was shopping at Albertsons in Carpinteria. She didn’t notice it was gone until the next day.

Adam McKaig, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman of California, stopped at Albertsons to buy a soda that day when he noticed what he described as a “beautiful ring” on the sidewalk outside the market. He picked it up and gave his business card to the store manager in case anyone reported it missing. He also placed an ad on craigslist.

A few people responded to the craigslist ad, claiming — unconvincingly — that the ring belonged to them.


Carla Dobbs’ 2-karat diamond ring is more than 100 years old. (McKaig family photo)

“Three people falsely described the ring,” McKaig said. “She described it to a T.”

Dobbs, meanwhile, had decided to retrace her steps and went straight to Albertsons. She spoke with the manager, who retreived McKaig’s business card. She was hopeful, but she was unable to leave a message because McKaig’s voice mail inbox was full. She then went to his Coast Village Road office but he wasn’t there.

The two eventually connected on the telephone, and McKaig met Dobbs at her home to bring the ring full circle.

“I was just so happy,” Dobbs exclaimed. “I gave him a hug.”

The silver band ring is more than 100 years old. Sapphire gems once adorned it, but they fell out. Dobbs wore it on her right ring finger.

She said McKaig wouldn’t accept any gift for returning the ring.

“I will think of something to surprise him,” the semi-retired accountant said.

Dobbs is thrilled to have the ring back.

“I want to hand it to my granddaughter,” she said.

McKaig said he apparently has a gift for finding things. About 15 years ago, he said, he found a wallet containing $1,100 on State Street. Although the wallet had no ID, a one-day gym pass inside helped him track down the owner and return the money.

“I find coins everyday,” he noted.

McKaig said he was saddened when he came across his latest discovery because “someone is going to miss that ring.”

His emotions turned around when he found Dobbs and “she gave me a wonderful hug.”

“It was fulfilling,” he said. “It was heartwarming.”

Saint Jude, Saint Anthony, and now Saint Adam.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.