Many people buy class rings to commemorate their school experience. With the name of your alma mater and year of graduation, it’s a symbol of school pride.
But it’s also a very personal item. It’s usually engraved with your initials, and maybe customized with a symbol of your favorite memories or activities. The ring is yours and unlike anyone else’s.
Which is why one man was so upset when he lost his school ring 50 years ago—and why, just recently, strangers rallied to reunite him with his old memento.
Back in 1968, Edward Michael Scannell, better known as Ted, graduated from Glens Falls High School in upstate New York.
He purchased a class ring, which he had with him a few years later on a 1974 trip to Europe for study. Upon arriving, he had time to sightsee around London, and ended up visiting a palm reader.
But to read his palm, she had to remove his class ring. Shortly after, Scannell realized his ring was gone—and so was the palm reader.
He never thought he’d see his lost ring again—until half a century later.
Cut to present day, 2018. A man named Eric Mattison, who collects Glens Falls memorabilia, found an interesting artifact from his hometown—but unusually, it was being sold in the UK.
“Recently, I came across the class ring listed on eBay UK,” Mattison told WNYT.
“There was no identification. It just said ‘1968 Glens Falls High School class ring.'”
Intrigued, he made it his mission to alert the rightful owner of the ring. He posted a photo on his local Facebook group “You know you’re from Glens Falls if…”
He couldn’t find the “EMS,” but the high school alumni in the group got to work tracking him down.
“Very quickly, somebody — one of the members, whipped out their yearbook in 1968,” Mattison explained.
“And identified the initials as Edward Michael Scannell.”
So 50 years after losing his ring to a palm reader, Scannell got some stunning news. He isn’t on social media, but an old classmate was able to track him down and tell him about the treasure.
“He told me about it and I was flabbergasted,” Scannell said.
But there was even more exciting news: he wouldn’t even have to buy back the ring.
The eBay seller agreed to ship it back to him free of charge.
“Isn’t that nice of them,” Scannell said. “There are good people in the world.”
And it was remarkable timing: Scannell’s 50-year reunion was coming up in September, and he could wear his old class ring.
He was worried it may not fit—but when the package arrived from London, he was thrilled to find it could fit, even if a different finger.
“I’ll definitely be wearing it,” he told WNYT.
A long-lost symbol of youth, reunited with its owner thanks to the kindness of strangers—and a few old classmates.