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CHICAGO (WGN) — Adam Rosa, an urban planner who picked up metal detecting as a hobby during the pandemic, was searching for buried treasure in a Chicago Park when he stumbled across a peculiar patch of dirt that caught his eye.

“[I] just decided to dig it this time, and an inch or two down, saw the outline of a gold ring,” Rosa said.

Rosa brought the ring home and cleaned it. After further inspection, he noticed a name inscribed on the piece of jewelry.

The ring recovered by Adam Rosa while metal detecting (Kevin Doellman/WGN)

“It was a fairly unique name. It took a while to find anything online,” Rosa said. “But I did find a person who matched the name, who lived in Chicago at one point.”

Ten miles away, Kimmy Half was working at Material Possessions, a high-end jewelry shop in Winnetka, not knowing a piece from her past had been uncovered.

But the ring came back — 30 years after it went missing — when Half met Rosa for the first time.

“The story of the object is more powerful than the object itself,” Rosa said. “Being able to trace that story back and return it to somebody, who obviously it means something to … is worth more than anything.”

Half’s father, a retired Chicago dentist, would spend his spare time taking the extra gold used for tooth fillings to make rings for his children and grandchildren. Then one unlucky day, the ring Half’s father made for her slipped off at a park.

“One time when I was there,” Half said, reminiscing back to the time she lost the ring. “I didn’t notice it right away, and I went back and tried to find it — and couldn’t find it — so I just kind of gave up on it.”