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Mysterious Port aux Basques ring not so unusual for Cape Breton woman

Katherine MacLeod has a belt-buckle ring very similar to the one profiled in a recent Gulf News story.
Katherine MacLeod has a belt-buckle ring very similar to the one profiled in a recent Gulf News story. - Submitted

Dear Editor,

Often people have a few pieces of heirloom jewelry that has always “just been there.” You may never question or wonder what history those objects hold, that is until you see them on Facebook!

It came as a great surprise last Monday evening as I was scrolling through a local Nova Scotia paper’s social media feed to see something that looked so familiar, yet different.

The article titled Tragedy, superstition and mystery by Rosalyn Roy appeared on my screen. What caught my attention right away was a photo of what some were calling an unusual-looking ring. To me, it wasn’t unusual at all, it was something I had seen many times before.

I went on to read about a ring that resembled a belt buckle and the story of how Keith Collins’ great grandfather came to find it. I quickly ran, rummaging through a drawer where I knew a ring box was stored for safe keeping. Inside sat a gold ring with two red stones in the shape of a belt buckle that looked a lot like the one I had just read about online.

I grabbed my phone and started to compare the two. Like Mr. Collins’ story, the history behind my ring is a bit of a mystery and on another island! You see, my ring is from Cape Breton. It was a ring I remember well as a child sitting proudly on my grandfather’s finger. My grandfather was born in the 1920s in Cape Breton. After he passed away in the 1990s, my grandmother wore the ring until her passing, when it was given to my father. 

We don’t know much about the history of the ring or its origins. We believe that it was given to my grandfather by his father, but that's were our story ends. Unfortunately, there are no close family members left who might have known more about the ring at one time. Countless searches online have proven unsuccessful to find something similar until now.

The article online mentioned the Facebook group “Newfoundland History Buffs.” I searched online for the group and asked to become a member. There I found Mr. Collins’ original post and started scrolling down and reading though all of the comments. I was able to share my story with him. We may never know the significance of the two rings, but it will be fun trying to see what else we can dig up!

Thanks to Rosalyn Roy and the power of social media for telling the story and helping us to make a connection!

Ceiteag NicLeòid | Katherine MacLeod

Iona, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

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