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  • Jan
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A Diamond Can Be an Animal’s Best Friend

Posted by at 8:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (16)

In December 1986, future PETA members Tom and Joan enjoyed a weekend evening together as they had so many times before during the five years that they had been dating—except that this night was destined to be the most important one of their lives so far as Tom knelt down on one knee and humbly proposed. Joan gratefully accepted Tom’s request to marry him, and they celebrated their wedding three months later.

Soon after Joan and Tom got married, they added a kitten and then a puppy to their family. Their love for these animals quickly grew into a desire to help protect and care for all animals. Together, the couple rescued many dogs, volunteered at animal shelters, founded a small humane organization in their community, and continued to support PETA and other organizations that work every day to help make the world a better place for all sentient creatures. Over time, they came to realize that their mutual love for animals had become the foundation of their marriage.

Joan and Tom's Wedding, March 1987

So, Tom was not surprised when Joan approached him with a very generous idea to celebrate their enduring love in a way that reflected their many years of compassionate work together—by helping animals. She suggested that they donate her beautiful diamond engagement ring to an organization that could find a benefactor to make a donation in exchange for the ring and all the wonderful karma that came with it. Tom thought this was a splendid idea to celebrate their upcoming 25th wedding anniversary and was delighted when PETA accepted the ring.

Here is your chance to obtain this beautiful diamond for someone important in your own life—maybe even as part of your own marriage proposal! It truly is a lovely piece of jewelry, as you can see from the description:

Shape: Round
Weight: 0.93 carat
GIA Color: F
GIA Clarity: SI1 to SI2
Setting: 18-karat gold with platinum head
Initial Appraised Value: $5,500

If you are interested in offering a financial gift to PETA in exchange for this beautiful diamond, we hope you will consider donating more than its appraised value to honor the love for animals that Joan and Tom have expressed by giving one of their most cherished possessions to support PETA’s efforts. For more information or to make a donation offer, please contact Michelle Cehn, the PETA Foundation’s community fundraising program manager, at [email protected].

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  • Tom says:

    I appreciate your concern over whether or not human suffering could have been involved with our diamond. Unfortunately, in 1986 when I bought it, this aspect of the diamond trade just wasn’t something that the public knew about. Any older, heirloom diamond will come with that risk, I supposed.

    I’m glad we know better now going forward.



  • stacie says:

    While it is good what is being done here, I hesitate to purchase a diamond when I have no idea what country it came from. Unless it has a Kimberly Process certificate I don’t trust that it isn’t a blood diamond.

  • Constance McCabe says:

    This is to Leah. Never, ever underestimate the good that you do with a donation of any size — time spent sending letters and email — making phone calls — attending protests. Life is an ocean and every action has a ripple effect. Thank you for the work you do. It’s more than good enough. It’s more than most people bother to do. It’s just right.

  • Christian says:

    This is to Leah …. I too struggle with time and finances every day .. but what makes it all worthwhile when I can contribute something is people like you. Recently I attended my first demonstration … against Ringling Brothers and I thought about the number of people who write, and demonstrate, and contribute, and are the voices of the animals we all love so much. Everything in life is a balance – and PETA has a beautiful balance of generosity in both giving of our time, our money, and our emotions. Thank you Leah, Tom, Joan .. everyone for contributing to that balance.

  • Holland says:

    A truly meaningful donation to the animals’ cause.

    To Leah Jones: may I add that you should not feel your own contributions are diminished in any way by Joan and Tom’s large gift.

    Surely you do not take exception when a well-known person of great wealth — like Bob Barker or Paul McCartney — gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to help animals. We all laud such contributions. Likewise, we thank Joan and Tom for the gift of their diamond ring.

  • Tom says:

    Leah Jones, please don’t feel that way! Your $25, $5, or whatever you can afford to contribute is just as important as our diamond ring!

    We just happen to own the diamond and wanted to donate it to PETA. Now PETA is looking for a benefactor to make a financial donation to receive the ring and would like to get its market value if possible. That’s all.

    I know the wonderful PETA at people who helped put this together and I guarantee that every single one of them would say that your contribution is every bit as important as anyone else’s because you’re doing what you can to help because you love the animals with all of your heart.

    Bless you for your hard work and contribution!

  • Ellie says:

    Wow what a great sacrifice! Truly animal lovers.

  • Jennifer says:

    I hope someone with a great deal of money buys the ring and gives it back. It is selfless what they did but if I had that kind of money that is what I would do. Then you as well would have good karma. That ring should stay on her finger until the day she dies. Maybe even after. Good luck.

  • Michael says:

    Dear Joan and Tom,

    You are both so amazing. You offer a beautiful example of love and kindness for others to emulate. Your generosity is inspiring. Thank you for all that you do for animals. All animals and humans alike who are in your life are blessed.

  • Leah Jones says:

    It’s all very well to ask for subscriptions, and I send them when I can, but to ask for over $5,500 is somewhat rash.
    This is a lovely story, with lovely sentiments, but it makes myself – on an Aged Pension – feel as if the paltry $25 that I send occasionally is barely worth doing. It’s not a nice feeling, considering I sit on my computer all day, writing to every Animal Organisation I can find to sign, and remark upon – feeling I might be doing some good. This makes me feel it’s all a waste of time. I’m sorry to write like this, but I really am left feeling that my best just isn’t good enough.

  • Tom says:

    Thanks for your kind words, everyone. We appreciate them very much.

    Rose, I think PETA is going to see if an offer comes in just from this post and spreading the word and then go from there with other ideas if it doesn’t.

  • Kalista says:

    What a sweet story! I wish I could afford to buy this beautiful ring, but I hope someone else can! As the blog said, it comes with such good karma

  • Rita Zanin-Carlson says:

    What an amazing story! It sounds like a fairy tale!
    I wish … there were more people able to get inspiration from this dedicated couple.
    It is not difficult to give up something ‘valuable’ in order to make a dream come true!

  • Divya Tanjore says:

    God Bless them both!
    How lovely of them…

  • Rachelle Curran-Yusef says:

    I think they are wonderful people, and they r very selfless. Meaning they put themselves last to help the animals in need. That’s great!

  • rose fann says:

    It would be really hard for me to give up the gift that my hubby gave me..but i understand that this family wants to support PETA..will there be an auction of the item or will it be just whomever has highest bid in a certain amount of time? i wanted to say ty to the couple for all that they have done and continue to do..

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