In a show of good triumphing evil, Alycea Chandler was reunited with a lost family heirloom appraised at about $15,000.
How? Through social media.
After a night out in Bricktown, Okla., Ms. Chandler was shocked when her husband pointed out the ring’s absence from her finger. She had no clue at which point in the evening she lost it.
“It was on my hand,” said Chandler, reported KFOR News. “I don’t know if it happened when I was washing my hand in the restroom, or taking money out of my pocket . . . I have no idea.”
Not knowing where to turn, she posted the lost item on Facebook, hoping chance would lead her to the ring:
“I know it’s a long shot, but please repost this: I lost my wedding ring in Bricktown celebrating my coach’s birthday. This ring is priceless and irreplaceable. It’s custom made and the diamond was from hubby’s father, who passed on when he was 10yo. In losing the ring, I’ve lost a piece of his father. Please contact me if you or anyone you know finds it.”
The post, which was shared nearly 3,000 times, spread into nearby states and ultimately found its way to the Facebook feed of Adam Coury, the general manager of Club One15. As luck would have it, one of his employees found the ring on the floor that night, so the ring was resting safely in the club’s safe.
“I got a message from this lady . . . she said hey, I heard you may have a ring,” said Coury, reported KFOR News. “The fact that I can trust my staff, even with small things like that, you can’t replace that.”
Finding and returning wedding rings is not an uncommon act of goodwill, and it is surprising how far people will go to help a stranger.
In 1959, a young girl’s parents went missing when their plane crashed in a Washington forest. About 15 years later, the plane’s wreckage was found, providing some closure to the family.
The girl, Joyce Wharton of New Jersey who is now 78-years-old, received the most shocking phone call of her life in December when a logger, Nick Buchanan, called her to tell her he had found her mother’s wedding ring at the site of the crash over 55 years later. While he found the ring in 1997, he found Ms. Wharton just now by using Ancestry.com with the help of his son.
"My mouth was open," Wharton told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing . . . it restores your faith in human nature, because there's so many bad things happening. And yet there are good people out there, kind people. People persevere."
Last year, 21-year-old Daniel Roark went scuba diving off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico and stumbled upon a wedding ring. He posted the ring on Facebook where it was shared over 127,000 times, resulting in Roark spending four to five hours a day pursuing leads and potential owner matches. After 50 false claims to the ring, he finally reconnected the ring with its owners, Martin Castillo and Jessica Garza-Castillo, who had lost it while scuba diving on their honeymoon in February 2013.
There are many more stories of seemingly miraculous cases of “lost and found,” but surveys have shown that around the world, your chances of being reunited with a lost item vary. In 2013, Reader’s Digest conducted a “lost wallet” experiment, where they “lost” 192 wallets in 16 countries, each containing what translates into $50 in local currency, coupons, and the owner’s contact information.
They found that some countries display high levels of honesty. In Helsinki, Finland, 11 out of 12 wallets were returned, with Mumbai taking second with 9 out of 12 returned wallets and Budapest and New York City both returning 8 lost wallets.
Other countries displayed a little less goodwill towards strangers: only one person returned a wallet in Lisbon, Portugal, and only two wallets out of 12 were returned in Madrid. Globally, 47 percent of wallets were returned in the little experiment.
Social media may be the best way to find that lost heirloom – provided people decide to come forward and do what is right.