By Tamera Adams
tadams@nationaljeweler.com

Ladies, Cartier isn't the only store your jewel-filled red box may come from this Valentine's Day.


A diamond ring donated to the Salvation Army in Tamarac, Fla., back in December is being sold by raffle on Feb. 13, The Miami Herald reported.


After it was donated, the ring—which features a half-carat center stone surrounded by 16 diamond chips in a gold setting—was taken to Carroll's Jewelers where it was valued at $2,000.


To win the ring, your future fiancée has to purchase a $25 ticket, referred to as a Love Note. One-hundred Love Notes are available, and the proceeds from the sales could cover housing expenses for one man in the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for two weeks.


The video promotion for the contest demonstrated the non-profit organization's marketing savvy. The announcement was made under a fabric and flower-covered trellis with a mannequin wearing a white wedding dress standing nearby. Capt. Henry Hudson, the administrator of the Salvation Army rehabilitation center, got down on one knee and slid the donated ring on his wife's finger. It was a moment made for You Tube, and I'm sure someone has submitted it by now.


Melissa Zegans, district manager for the Salvation Army stores in Broward County, said she hoped the contest would bring more people and donations into the store.


A Valentine who purchases a 50-year-old ring with bit of history behind it while simultaneously contributing to a worthy cause, might be a keeper. Even a woman who is particular about the stores she shops in could see the value of this gift.


*Photo courtesy of Emily Michot of The Miami Herald.






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