March 4 (UPI) -- A Rhode Island man who lost his high school class ring at the beach just two days after receiving it was reunited with the item 47 years later.
Steven Allen, of Westerly, said he was at the beach with friends in Weekapaug in 1974 when he lost the Westerly High School class ring he had received just two days earlier.
"I don't know the exact day, but it was May and we were over on the Weekapaug Beach and my friends and I were getting a tan because graduation was in June," Allen told WJAR-TV.
"We were getting ready to leave, we shook the blanket and I said, 'Oh, my God, the ring!' Because I knew it was on the blanket. We looked for hours, and we couldn't find it."
Todd Holtman, of Woodbury, Conn., said he and his family were visiting Westerly Town Beach about two years ago when they made a surprising discovery.
"We were walking back, and my wife actually kicked something that was shiny. We picked it up and it was an old ring," Holtman said.
Holtman cleaned the ring and was able to make out the school's Bulldog mascot and the initials "SGA." He said he tried calling the school, but "nothing ever came of it."
The ring was left behind at his in-laws' home in Westerly, and two weeks ago Holtman and his family returned for a trip and he decided to renew his search for the ring's owner.
Holtman found a Westerly High School 1974 yearbook and identified Allen as the ring's likely owner. He called school officials, who were able to put him in touch with one of Allen's relatives.
Holtman hand-delivered the ring to Allen. The men theorized the ring must have ended up in the ocean and traveled from Weekapaug to Westerly.
"I was shocked," Allen said. "I was more shocked because of the shape that it was in after in the ocean. That the stone was in good condition. I was just shocked I got to see my high school ring 46 years later."
A Florida man was recently reunited with his own class ring after an even longer period of time -- 53 years. Doyle Smith said he lost his ring in 1966 while serving in the Army at Ford Island, Oahu, Hawaii.
The ring was found by a U.S. Navy service member stationed in Hawaii from 2000-2003. The veteran, Pat Appleton, enlisted a friend in 2020 to help him find the ring's owner, and after some online detective work the item ended up being mailed to Smith.