Published: Feb 06, 2014 5:29 PM EST
Updated: Feb 07, 2014 12:44 PM EST

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- We've all heard that saying- it's like searching for a needle in a haystack, and that's the best way to describe this story. Bonita Springs resident, Nancy Gross, accidentally threw away her birthday ring given to her by her late husband. Tonight, WINK News explains how a craving for pistachios leads to a group of people rummaging through piles of trash in search of a ring.

"I felt like I had done something to my husband, how could I have thrown away something that he loved?" said Nancy Gross.

Nancy gross felt instant guilt the moment she realized her blue sapphire, diamond ring was missing.

The ring with so much meaning was a gift from her late husband who lost his battle with cancer two years ago.

"He presented this to me 14 years ago for my birthday, and it's been so very special because he was so pleased to give me this ring," said Gross.

But on Friday night, the ring got buried in a pile of pistachio shells and she accidently threw it into the trash.

"I got up, looked at the night stand and clearly remember going (scoops nuts) and said 'oh my god, it's in the trash compactor.'"

Nancy set out on a mission, to find the ring she's been wearing for 14 years.   "I literally was half into the dumpster and I'm hauling out bags, and it was none of them and I said there is no way I'm going to allow this."

The trash collector had already came and hauled away the bin with her bag in it, so she called the county, but was told she could not go onto the landfill. So the president of Citrus Park, the community Nancy lives in, stepped into help and donated his land for the trash to be dumped. 21 people came out to search for a white bag with an orange tie.

"People were yelling out contents, baked beans, mac and cheese, and I said no, I don't eat that."

And after hours of looking, she took a break from the rummaging and said a prayer.

"I looked up and said, 'oh please God, you have Scott, this is the ring he gave to me, let us find this ring.'"

Her prayer was answered, and the ring was found!

"David West who works for the parks department said is this your ring, and I said 'you have got to be kidding me! It was my ring!'"

This isn't the first time Nancy has had luck on her side, a few years ago, she left her purse at a gas station, 225 miles from home. Inside her purse were two Rolex watches worth $25,000. Someone returned the purse to the police department with the watches inside.