Man finds 1969 high school class ring on Ormond Beach, owner’s son flies from California to pick it up

Ring reunited with Hirt family

Marty Knight completed his mission of helping his cousin James find the owner of this Daytona Beach high school ring from 1969.

“This has always been kind of his dream so, kinda [I’m] tryin’ help him achieve it,” Knight said via a zoom call from his home in Starke, Florida.

The ring with a blue stone and the initials J C H engraved in it was found about 3 weeks ago in Neptune Approach in Ormond Beach.

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“We’ve found rings before and we’ve actually returned a couple of ‘em but nothing like this,” Knight said.

“I contacted a club. I talked to a gentleman on there and he looked (it) up and shared it with his group and actually came up with the name,” he said.

The club he referred to is the Facebook group Mainland High School Class of 1970. Marty said the man he spoke with said it might belong to a James Carlton Hirt.

“I’m hoping one of his at least relatives or someone that knew him possibly come forward,” he said. “I would really like to give back to ‘em to one of his members of his family at least.”

Man pickups his father's class ring. (WKMG)

After this story aired on News 6 earlier this week, the family of the ring owner came forward, according to Marty Knight. The owner is deceased but his son flew from California to Florida to pick up the ring.

“I would like to throw in there News 6 does get results,” Knight said.

Knight is thankful the Hirt family saw the news.

“The ring fits the oldest son Josh Hirt [perfectly,] like it was made for him,” Knight said.

Knight and his cousin James, went into metal detecting two years ago as a hobby. Knight said it gives them a chance to exercise, enjoy the beach, and possibly bring joy to someone--like the time he says they found a woman’s wedding ring.

“I found 2 other ones, uh, one was a young lady, she had lost it--had walked into the water and just washed her hands, and lost it,” he recalled. “Just so happened me and my cousin was--just walked down to the beach and they came running up to us and we found that one also. And her husband had just gotten deployed out of Kings Bay for a 6-month deployment.”

For Knight, it’s not about the money. It’s about the sentimental value a ring has.

“A lot of times they wanna pay you, they wanna give you something back...that’s not what it’s about,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of people say well why don’t you just take it down to the pawnshop? Why? There’s more to it than taking it down to the pawnshop and dropping it off; it’s somebody’s.”

“Me and my cousin both we believe in Karma--what goes around comes around. That’s just the way it is. You do good for others, it’ll come back one way or another.”

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.