Melissa Patterson of Elgin said she was raking her yard in the fall when she discovered the ring with an inscription that read "Schaumburg High School" and "Class of 1980," the year she was born, the Elgin Courier-News reported Thursday.
"I was curious to find out how this got in my yard," she said. "I was curious about it, and I've always been really good with the Internet. It just so happened everything clicked together."
Patterson said she followed a Facebook trail to find Beth Orticelli, whose last name had changed multiple times since her maiden name was engraved on the ring in high school.
Patterson said she sent Orticelli an email at her listed St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 address, but months went by without a response. She said she eventually decided the email must have ended up in a junk folder and sent the other woman a Facebook message.
"It was so shocking when I read the messages to me, and then it was so exciting to go over to meet her," Orticelli said. "It was such a great act of kindness you don't see every day."
Orticelli said she and a friend traded rings decades ago, and Patterson said the friend was one of the previous residents of her house.