Shopper buys Q-tips for 50c – opens the package and discovers something completely different

Most of us love to discover a bargain; wandering around flea markets looking for a great purchase.

You never know what precious things you might find in these markets; sometimes it’s a wasted journey but occasionally you find a real treasure. But a treasure can be different things to different people. It may be an old toy that brings back childhood memories or a beautiful antique that is worth a lot more money than the price on it.

In this story from Canada a woman was in a thrift shop when she decided to buy a box of Q-tips for the bargain price of 50 cents. Little did she know that it would be her greatest find.

Loretta Simms had gone into the Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in Duncan, B.C., to nose around for a good deal and picked up the Q-tips on a whim.

They are always needed and were so cheap. But when she opened the box  she discovered that it contained a little more than just Q-tips.

Photo: Flickr/Will Culpepper

Tucked inside were eight rings set with diamonds, emeralds and rubies — including a diamond engagement ring — and an authentic string of pearls.

Loretta could of course have kept them and made a lot of money as the jewellery turned out to be worth over $1,800. But because Loretta is an honest person, she chose to do the right thing. She went back to the shop in the hospital and told the staff about her great find.

“I just took it for granted that they were Q-tips and put them out on the shelf,” said shop director Arlene Cristofoli, who’d priced the box at less than a dollar, according to

“She paid 50 cents for eight rings and a string of pearls.”

As it turns out, a man living abroad donated the jewellery from his late sister’s collection. All the items are back up for sale at the thrift store, with proceeds benefiting the Cowichan District Hospital.

Volunteers at the store said Loretta was “wonderful” and “astounding” to bring the rings and necklace back. Loretta said she wanted to be sure the higher selling price would help patients.

What an honest woman! I really hope she is rewarded with new wonderful finds in the future.

"She paid 50 cents for eight rings and a string of pearls."

Posted by CBC News on Thursday, 25 January 2018

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