This weekend I wanted a distraction from being cooped up in lockdown alone, so I asked followers of my Instagram page to send me their stories of lost jewellery (everyone has one). I was surprised by how many lost jewels actually turned up, and in the most random places – sometimes 10 years or more later. So often it’s the sentimental attachment that makes losing jewellery difficult, above the monetary value. A ring inherited from Grandma, a 21st Birthday watch – jewellery inherited or given as a gift can be the only tangible attachment we have with loved ones no longer with us, or symbolic of family bonds and milestones, so it is often irreplaceable. My favourite story was a lady whose husband lost his wedding band whilst preparing a cannon to fire during a military ceremony!
Another favourite was a lady retrieving a ring, lost for 15 years, on her gardening fork while digging up veg! It reminded me of this news story where a lady dug up a carrot and miraculously her diamond ring, lost for 10 years, was stuck around it. I think sometimes the jewellery wants to be found and eventually you’re drawn to it.
There were also lots of stories of children “playing postman” with Mama’s precious jewels and dropping them down floorboard cracks. I like hearing the random places where jewels turn up – biscuit tins, candle sticks, flower pots – and so many years later. Diamonds really are forever, even if they’re not with you!
I rarely travel with anything too valuable or sentimental these days after I lost a St. Christopher pendant I bought on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence to bring me luck when I travel. The pendant wasn’t so lucky, sadly, as I lost it in Paris along with my watch. The watch turned up randomly in the bottom of a garment bag (it must have fallen off whilst I was packing), but I never found the necklace. Maybe one day it will re-surface like in your stories 🙂
I’ve also been entrusted with extremely valuable jewellery with my work, so my focus is often on my employer’s jewellery rather than mine. I once worked for a lady who lost a yellow diamond earring when we were travelling in Japan (very rare and scarily expensive). We were travelling with a photographer, so I got his camera and looked through all the photos until I found one where she was wearing only one earring. The photo was taken in a clothing store where she was trying on scarves, so we called the store and they had found it! It was such a relief – and I got extra brownie points for my detective work 😉 I’ve also often had to retrieve a chain from a drain – blue tack on the end of a skewer works well for this!
So remember – never wear precious rings when gardening or washing up! And never put your jewellery in a tissue or anywhere temporarily that isn’t a container – you will always forget it’s there!
With jewellery safe places and storage in mind – here are some ideas for trinket trays to keep near sinks, dressing tables and bedside tables, and portable travel jewellery organisers to keep your jewels safe and prevent future diamond dramas!
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