Ryan Seymour, of Lochgelly, was initially confused when contacted by Fife police when the wallet was handed in, but eventually remembered having it stolen in 2004.
Now he says the old wallet, which still has video rental membership cards and old work IDs, is like a mini time-capsule.
Ryan (37), told of the moment he was contacted by officers via social media who had recovered the wallet.
“I had a random Facebook message request from someone who asked if I’d lost a wallet.
"I initially said I hadn’t, but they told me it was probably about 20 years ago.
"I started racking my brains, and I said ‘yeah, now that you mention it, I did a long time ago’.
“The officer worked at Dunfermline police station and someone had found it in a bush and had handed it in.”
But Ryan faced a new challenge when he arrived at the station.
He said: “When I first walked in and said I was there to reclaim a stolen wallet, the sergeant asked me what it looked like, and honestly I had no idea because it had been so long.
"I had to explain it had been lost a long time ago.
“She said she’d worked there 30 years and had never seen anything like this.”
Upon seeing the old wallet, Ryan says memories came flooding back about the day it was stolen when he was 20 years old, at the Elizabethan pub on Dunfermline’s Halbeath Road.
He said: “It’s weird how I remember that date.
"I had been playing pool with my pal. I went to the toilet, wallet in hand, and put it down on the cistern.
"Seconds after coming out I realised I’d left it. I went back in and it was gone already.
"But obviously someone had gone in right at the back of me and run away with it.”
Police told Ryan it had recently been found in a bush a couple of hundred metres down the road.
Ryan added: "Obviously someone’s tended to the bush and spotted it and handed it in.
“It’s been funny. All these daft things like old cards – a card for renting VHS tapes and an old work ID.
"It was just weird how much it was like a mini time capsule, it just transported back to that day.
"It was crazy to just to see a picture of me back in the day all fresh-faced.
“Even the wallet itself had been a present from my mum – that’s why it has my name written on it, which people used to give me hassle for.
"It’s just been a funny thing that made me chuckle.”
However, despite all the cards being accounted for in the wallet, one thing was still missing.
Ryan said: “I told my pal who’d been with me that day and he jokingly said it was him that had taken it, so I told him he owes me the £60 that had been in it.”
Inspector Jill Moss of Dunfermline police station said: “We will make every effort, no matter how much time has passed, to trace owners of lost property which is handed into our stations.
"It is great to hear that in this case, a wallet which had been missing for 17 years and recovered from a bush - of all places - was returned safely to its rightful owner.”