(NEWSER) – For more than 15 years, Mary Ellen Frabizzio showed off her 4-carat pink sapphire ring, a glittering beauty with diamond baguettes and a gold mounting that her husband had presented to her for her birthday in 1999. "I went nuts," she tells the News Journal.
"I was jumping up and down for joy. I never expected one that big." Now she says that joy, and that birthday memory, are ruined forever, because it turns out the ring is worth a whopping … $30. She and her husband, Sam, discovered the stone was a lab-grown synthetic stone when Sam sent it out to be appraised for insurance purposes in December. Now they're are suing Carl Doubet Jr. Jewelers, the store in Greenville, NC, where Sam bought the ring, for $40,000: $37,500 to replace the ring and $2,500 for insurance costs paid over the years.