Cindy Herzner said she obtained the ring from Phoenix's Trevor Browne High School in 1985 and lost it six months later, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.
Herzner said she never thought she would see the ring again until she recently received a call from Amanda Kennedy, whose grandmother, Sandy Neuhaus, discovered the ring entwined in the roots of a dead evergreen she was removing from her Dyersville, Iowa, yard in August.
Kennedy said the ring bore the year and name of the high school as well as the engraved name Cindy. She said she used Yahoo to find a virtual yearbook and identify the ring's owner.
"I didn't realize until talking to her that it had been missing for 26 years." Kennedy said.
Herzner said the ring's journey is a mystery, especially considering she has never visited Iowa.
"The coolest thing was the ring came two days before my 44th birthday, and it looks exactly like it did the day I lost it," Herzner said. "It was like the best present you could ever get from someone you've never met."