Returning ring brings luck for homeless man

Tiffany & Co. is celebrating its 175th anniversary. At left is the Tiffany Setting Engagement Ring, a design classic. The diamond is held away from the band by six prongs, which allows more light through the stone. Diamonds represent about a quarter of Tiffany & Co.'s $3.6 billion in annual sales.
Carlton Davis, courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. A homeless man's decision to return a woman's engagement ring after she accidentally dropped it in his cup is about to pay big dividends.

Billy Ray Harris, who frequently panhandles on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, discovered the ring after Sarah Darling dumped spare change from her coin purse into his cup earlier this month, CBS affiliate KCTV reports Earlier that day, she had taken off her ring and put it with the coins.

"The ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive," Harris said.

He didn't notice it in his orange cup until almost an hour after its original owner unzipped her wallet and dumped her change into it.

Darling said she didn't realize what she'd done until the next day.

"I was so incredibly upset because, more than just the value of the ring, it had sentimental value," she said.

After realizing what she'd done, the Darling returned to Harris and asked if he had the ring. He said yes and gave it back to her.

Some may wonder, based on Harris' current situation, why he didn't just pawn it and start a new life.

"My grandfather was a reverend. He raised me from the time I was six months old and thank the good Lord, it's a blessing, but I do still have some character," he said.

"I think in our world we often jump to like the worst conclusion, and it just makes you realize that there are good people out there," Darling said.

Now, Darling's fiance has set up a website seeking donations for Harris. On Monday, people from around the world had donated more than $145,000.