Wedding ring that is up for bid at Dalton jewelry store.
DALTON, GA -- The generous donation of a big hearted bride will help the Salvation Army put a dent in a huge budget deficit.
The most talked about piece at Maryville Jewelers in downtown Dalton is an orphan, the diamond wedding ring left behind by an anonymous donor with a heart of gold.
"That's the most special piece of jewelry she has," said Maryville Jewelers' Lori Long. "For a lady to give up her wedding ring, that is hard to do."
This family treasure's journey to Maryville Jewelers began with a different kind of ring.
During the Salvation Army's Christmas kettle drive, one donor decided she'd give karats instead of coins. She handed her diamond wedding ring, wrapped inside a plastic bag, so one of the Dalton area's bell ringers, then left without giving her name.
Along with the ring, there was a note that read, "My husband and I are still deeply in love. We think you could make better use of this ring than us."
The note is signed, "All For Jesus."
Maryville Jewelers is accepting sealed bids for the ring, which is appraised at around $6,000.
Among other things, the money will help fill empty spaces on the Salvation Army's food shelves.
Major Henry Hunter, who represents the Salvation Army in Whitfield and Murray Counties, says donations are so far off the past year that the charity is struggling with a $50,000 budget deficit.
The sale of the ring won't completely close the gap.
"Still, it tells me that people have a heart even in these trying times," said Hunter. "They're not focused on self."
Maryville Jewelers will accept bids for the next three weeks.
"I'm averaging two or three a day," said owner "I actually got a bid from Valdosta, so you can see how far this story has spread."