By LIZ FIELDS
When a Kansas City woman offered up her diamond wedding band set for sale in exchange for football tickets, one longtime Chiefs fan jumped at the chance.
Rusty Jones, 49, and his girlfriend had started talking about engagement rings for about a month when he saw a Kansas City Star article about a woman advertising her wedding ring from a previous marriage in exchange for tickets to the Chiefs-Denver Broncos game.
"I went to Cragslist and found the ad," said Jones. "I showed my girlfriend the pictures and asked her if she liked it."
Obviously she did, because his girlfriend Janie, 50, became his fiancée as of Friday night.
Jones, who owns Professional Sound Services, said the seller of the ring wanted to remain anonymous, and could only identify her as Rachael.
The deal was that he would swap his four highly sought-after tickets to the Chiefs and Broncos game at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 1 for Rachael's brilliant-cut diamond and white gold ring.
Jones said he has been a season ticket holder since 1993, and had purchased the tickets earlier in the year as part of the season package. He was more than willing to give up the tickets for the ring, which was described in the Craigslist ad as a "nice diamond ring and wedding band" worth $3,100.
The first time Jones tried to make the exchange, the seller lost Jones' contact details, and had to repost the ad. Jones responded a second time and the pair agreed to meet at a jewelry store to verify the rings' authenticity.
While jewelers appraised the set at $2,800, it was close enough for Jones. His tickets in section 123 weren't the club-level seats Rachael was originally after either, so both traded-off and the deal was sealed on Thursday.
When it came time to propose last night, Jones said the element of surprise had pretty much been taken out of the affair, and so the couple chose to spend a low-key night at home.
"Our local paper had run a story about the purchase so I wasn't able to keep it a secret," he said. "She found out yesterday with all the hoopla. We just spent some time alone and asked her to marry me.