An 88-year-old Florida woman who lost her wedding ring in a patch of overgrown grass said the ring was returned to her by a local metal detecting enthusiast.

Mary Marzec said she flew into a panic after her wedding ring fell from her finger while she was pushing the grass away from her knees at a bus stop in St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Times reported Monday.

"My husband said, 'Come on, let's go home. I'll buy you another one,'" Marzec recalled. "I said, 'I'm not going until I find my ring!'"

The sight of an elderly woman sifting through the overgrown grass caught the attention of a sheriff's deputy, who was carrying a card for treasure hunting enthusiast and metal detector owner George Kollmer, 75.

Marzec, who has been married to her husband, Ed, since 1937, said she was convinced to take the bus back to her Port Richey home while an attendant at a nearby Chevron station waited for Kollmer to arrive.

Kollmer said the attendant directed him to the bus stop and then it was only a matter of time before the ring was unearthed.

"Within 10 minutes," he said, "I had it in my hand."

Kollmer said he called Marzec and headed straight for her home, where he traded the ring for his $50 service fee. Marzec, who was in tears after receiving her ring back, said it symbolized the powerful bond she has with her husband.

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"If you promise yourself to someone," she said, "that's for life."