‘Eternally grateful’ Southgate-trained diver found lost class ring in Mexico – The News Herald

Jared Raymond of Arizona and Gary Franklin of Southgate have never met, but about two weeks ago Raymond became Franklin’s “main man”.

“I’ve never been anyone’s ‘main man’ before, but I like it,” Raymond said.

While they didn’t know it at the time, the pair actually bumped into each other a few weeks ago while vacationing in Mexico.

Franklin and his family went snorkeling off Playa del Carmen on April 25.

While on a catamaran in the water, Franklin felt his precious 2012 University of Michigan class ring slip off his finger.

Before he could clench his fist to keep it from falling, he slipped and fell out of sight.

The ring that served as a constant reminder of her academic dedication and proof that hard work pays off was out of reach.

Gary and Nekea Franklin were all smiles on a catamaran in Mexico. Gary then lost his class ring at the University of Michigan while snorkeling. (Photo courtesy of Gary Franklin)

According to Franklin, the ring was a gift for himself in recognition of the struggle between work, school, homework and being a family man at the same time.

The ring was worth around $800, but the sentimental value made it priceless to Franklin.

There was no reason to think the class ring would ever surface again.

“I was right there and couldn’t see it,” Franklin said. “The water was about 9 or 10 feet away and I thought for a second of taking off my life jacket and trying to get it back. I didn’t because I didn’t want anyone to see it floating and think the worst I just wrote it down as a loss.

While preparing for the trip, he lost about 15 pounds. Her fingers are a little thinner now, so the ring wasn’t as snug as it always had been.

Franklin was unaware that Raymond was arriving on the same catamaran shortly after his trip, and he is a qualified diver.

This is the 2012 class ring of the University of Michigan which united a friendship between two strangers. (Photo courtesy of Jared Raymond)

According to Raymond, he saw something glistening underwater at the same spot Franklin was and dived to retrieve it.

“I thought fuck it, that’s a high school class ring,” Raymond said. “It’s definitely a beautiful ring. I knew it had some value and I knew it was special.

With Franklin’s name engraved on the inside and it being a University of Michigan ring, Raymond thought it was time consuming to post it on social media to try and find the owner – but it was worth it.

Neither man is big on social media, but both have friends who are.

Raymond tried the ring on for size and took a photo of it and asked a friend to help post it on Facebook.

Social media has done what it does best: spread the word.

The photo and a paragraph explaining where the ring was found got more than 9,000 shares on Facebook between Raymond and his friend who was assisting him.

Jared Raymond of Arizona said it felt good to find a Southgate man’s class ring at the University of Michigan and return it to him. (Photo courtesy of Jared Raymond)

Somewhere along the way he reached people who knew Franklin and that he had lost his ring.

Finally, on the evening of April 29, a day after he returned from Mexico, the Facebook post reached Franklin.

“I thought it was someone who heard about what happened and was trying to connect me with a jeweler,” Franklin said with a laugh. “I read the paragraph and saw that it was a diver who found the ring. My heart just dropped. I showed it to my wife (Nekea) and she said, ‘You you’re kidding me I didn’t think there was a way anyone could find him.

The two eventually connected, and Franklin explained the significance and significance of the ring to Raymond.

“It wasn’t right keeping him around,” Raymond said. “Fortunately, his name was on it. It’s a beautiful story, and it made me feel good. It was even better to know how much the ring meant to him.

Franklin sent Raymond a prepaid envelope to put the ring in to return it, and said he had included a “$100 finder’s fee”.

He said he heard from his family, friends and parents about his children, all asking about the ring. Franklin said some of the people who contacted him had not been seen or heard from in over 10 years.

Franklin made it clear he wasn’t too crazy about all the publicity the ring generated, but said his wife made him realize the importance and value of spreading positive stories about generous people like Raymond. .

Franklin said Raymond could have easily kept the ring and gotten some money for it.

The experience reminds Raymond of the classy ring his father, Sydney Raymond of Prescott, Arizona, lost in the 1960s while in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Her dad lost his 14k gold ring outside in the winter snow and said he only wished his story had had this kind of ending.

“It was worth something,” Raymond said of his father’s ring. “Maybe it’s not too late.”

Franklin said he’s taken his class ring off once, to do the dishes, since he received it in the mail on Thursday.

“I am eternally grateful,” he said.

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