Anthea Capewell, 60, said her engagement and wedding rings flew off when she closed her garden gate in Stapleford, England, in 1976, and after a thorough search, only the engagement ring was recovered, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
Capewell said she and her husband, David, moved out of their home eight years after losing the ring, and she had long given up hope of ever seeing it again.
However, former neighbors Don and Carol Rigby called Capewell recently to say they had found the ring buried in some garden weeds on their side of a hedge shared by the two homes.
"I was absolutely gobsmacked and, of course, I was ecstatic," Capewell said. "I just couldn't believe it.
"It must have worked its way down into the soil after we missed it all those years ago. It came up like new with just a bit of soap water."
Capewell said the discovery has inspired her and David to renew their wedding vows next year.