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Owner of lost Royal Oak class of 1951 class ring located, to get ring back

Posted at 5:02 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 17:02:01-05

Do you believe in messages from beyond? When a class ring from 1951 was recently found, the owner did not even know it was missing.

John Newman was using a metal detector around an elementary school in Birmingham when he found the class ring buried under six inches of dirt.

"I was excited. Any time you see gold come out of the ground you get excited."

It said "Royal Oak" with 1951 as the year and the initials "R.F.B" on the inner band.

Newman spent the past two months trying to figure out who it belonged to. When he hit a dead end, he turned to the Royal Oak Historical Society Museum just a few days ago.

He said, "It means nothing to me and might mean the world to the owner."

Curator Muriel Versagi and other volunteers started looking through yearbooks looking for men with the initials RB.

"This is so cool. This is just so cool," she said. "We narrowed it down to five people in that age range."

From a yearbook to Facebook, Newman reached out to people with those five people's last names and found the daughter of Ron Birou.

Newman and Versagi spoke with Birou moments before our interview.

Birou said, "I got a little chuckle out of it. I certainly did because I didn't even know it was missing."

He now lives in Florida. Birou gave the ring to his wife in 1952. Sadly, she passed away two weeks ago.

He said, "It was a sign from God that she was okay."

"Little miracles happen everyday in our lives and we are not aware of them," Versagi added.

They plan on sending the ring to him by the end of this week.

Newman explained, "I'm very happy to reunite him and give him some memories of his wife that he might not have otherwise had."