Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 19, 2014

Facebook connection reunites class ring with original owner

Three ‘bored’ friends find local man who owned it

CUMBERLAND — How long did you wait for your class ring? LaVale resident Shane Riggs waited 27 years.

In 1987 while his family packed up their Ellerslie home and moved to Ohio, Riggs lost his high school class ring. Or so he thought.

“It was a silver ring, peridot stone, my name and year of graduation on it,” said Riggs. “And I thought it was gone for good.”

Riggs then lived in Ohio where he pursued his education and a career for more than 15 years. In 2003, he moved back to Western Maryland, where he was — among other things — the founding editor of Allegany Magazine.

Fast forward to 2014 and enter Facebook and the power of social media.

On Feb. 18, 27 years after he lost the ring and nearly 30 years after his parents had given it to him, Riggs received an “out of the blue” message from someone he had never met through Facebook.

“Hi. This is random but when I bought a truck a few years ago I found a class ring in it and it has your name on it,” said an email sent from Jessica Lloyd of Fort Ashby, W.Va. “It says Class of ’85 and has the Mount Savage Indian in it.”

After further describing the ring, Lloyd sent Riggs a picture of the ring through the social media site with the caption “I think this is yours.”

According to Lloyd, she had bought a truck and found the ring inside it. Even after selling the truck several years ago she still kept the ring, hoping one day she would find a way to reunite it with its original owner.

“It was in a 1995 Ford Ranger, in the cup holder section where the cigarette lighter is,” she said. “When my husband sold the truck, I got the ring out and put it in a box.”

The odd thing about it being in a 1995 vehicle is that the truck wasn’t even made when the ring was lost.

“So someone moved it from one car to the other, or at least one place to the other,” said Riggs. “Someone I don’t even know was holding on to it all this time.

“I remember every little scratch and dent on it,” he said. “The stone is scuffed up because I scuffed it. I took it off my hand in the high school cafeteria and spun it like a top on the table. When I did, it scuffed the stone. Losing it was one of those things I always regretted. ”

The ring is not only sentimental to Riggs but it is also partially collectible. Mount Savage ceased being a high school more than 10 years ago. The students who would have gone there now attend Mountain Ridge High School.

“It’s weird because my nephew recently got his class ring from Mountain Ridge,” said Riggs. “And now I have mine back.”

Riggs said his story parallels one he had written about: the loss and discovery of his grandmother’s wedding band and diamonds.

“I found her rings in a chair that she owned,” said Riggs. “They had been lost for nearly 30 years in the bottom of her favorite chair. She just didn’t know it until I inherited the chair. I have no idea the adventure my class ring was on.”

After finding the class ring’s rightful owner, Lloyd drove from Fort Ashby to Allegany College of Maryland, where Riggs is employed, to return it to him. She came with two of her friends — David Shanholtz and Ivy Lloyd — who wanted to witness the moment.

“We were sitting around looking at the ring and were kind of bored. We looked inside the ring and saw a name engraved and then we said, ‘Let’s see if we can find Shane Riggs on Facebook.’ His page was the first page we came to and so we wrote him. Once we found out it was his ring, we said, ‘Well, let’s go meet him now and return his ring.’”

Riggs put the ring on his right hand and immediately began to twirl it around his finger like he did when he was a senior in high school. “Yeah, look at that,” he said. “Old habits die hard.”

Riggs said the return of the ring restored his faith in social media and in the power of connections through Facebook.

“The irony of that is just a week or so before I was seriously considering deleting my Facebook page,” Riggs said. “I’m so glad I rode it out and let it stay up.

“It just makes me want to do something really good in return,” he said. “This is proof that when you try to do good, good will come back to you … even if it’s something that belonged to you once to begin with.”

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