Melanie Newman lost her class ring 30 years ago. She assumed it was long gone until a stranger sent her a message on Facebook.
The home on the corner of Pleasant Street is now vacant, but Melanie Newman has fond memories of living their while she was in high school.
“I remember happy memories,” said Newman. “I remember seeing the dogs over there and the motorcycles over there and mom’s Cadillac.”
One of the happiest memories at this house, was the day she got her class ring.
“It was a big deal for me to have this in high school, and it was really special to me. My mom and my stepdad bought it for me and it cost a lot of money,” said Newman.
The happiest memory was overshadowed a few months later when she lost the ring.
Newman says she thought she lost it close to the street when she was getting out of her mother’s car. She remembers shutting the door and feeling it slip off her finger.
She says it had just snowed, so she waited until the snow had melted to search for it.
“I remember being out here with my fingers just clawing up the cold ground. I really thought it was gone at that point. I figured because the ground was so cold somebody had just come by and taken it,” said Newman.
Then, last week, Derek Beals was using his metal detector near the sidewalk outside the house next door.
Beals says the hobby often leads to trash or miscellaneous historical items, but this day he literally struck gold.
“Dug up her ring. I was really surprised when I saw it. It was the first real ring I’ve ever found,” said Beals.
He knew it was either silver or white gold because it hadn’t corroded underground. The ring had sunk about 4 inches over the years. Beals says it was dirty when he found it but he could still make out the inscription inside, Melanie Rae.
“It was still in my hand and then I hopped on Facebook to see if I could try to find out who’s it was,” said Beals.
When he searched, Newman came up. He says he guessed it was her because she matched the age of when the person would’ve graduated from high school, the year was on the ring.
Beals sent Newman a message and she says she was shocked. The ring was right where she lost it 30 years ago.
“Pawn value might be a hundred bucks or something, but I mean I’m sure it’s worth more than that to her. So, why not go through the trouble to try and get it back to who it belonged to,” said Beals.
He was right. To Newman, the ring is more than just a piece of jewelry. She says it’s a reminder of some of her favorite moments at William Chrisman High School.
“It was a big part of me. I cannot believe it still fits the same finger. I’m just really glad I have it back and I’m really glad he took the time to call me and track it down,” said Newman.