Signet ring lost in London, found on beach in Italy and reunited with owner over two decades later.
The small gold signet ring which was originally lost in London in the early 90’s whilst on an evening out in the Lowndes Inn in Belgravia was found on a beach in Italy over twenty years ago by a lady who was living there at the time. It's hard to say how it could have made the journey fom London to Italy but that is only part of the magic of this story.
Having no way of knowing who it belonged to or where to return it to, the ring was safely put away in a jewellery box by the finder.. This wonderful person, Bridgid Jones writes, “I had kept the ring, never thinking I would ever find the owner. I often looked at the ring and wondered who the owner might be, the inscription very simply ‘ à Cristina de Grand Papa’
During a clear out she once again thought of the ring and its owner and this time with the powers of Facebook now available, she thought she would give it a go and see if someone out there might recognise the coat of arms.
By the morning the post had received over 2,000 shares, 205 likes and a stream of comments. Ann Eleonora Walkendorff shared my post to the group International Heraldry Society. Hours later, Micheal Y. Medvedev of St Petersburg correctly identified the coat of arms and then, again very swiftly another heraldry expert, Nick Nicholson followed this with an image, from records at the Russian Nobility Association in New York, of the coat of arms which matched the ring. A great piece of detective work given the markings are so small (and of course reversed, given it's traditional use as a seal).
Nick immediately contacted me, “a ring has been found and I’m sure it is yours!” having identified me as the only likely owner “I am happy to place you in touch with the person who has the ring.”
A meeting soon after in a London restaurant and ring and owner where once again reunited!
The ring was given to me by my late grandfather, Prince Nicolas Tchkotoua when I was in my early teens and he had engraved a personal inscription on the inside of the band. Not long after this he passed away when I was 16 so this ring was especially precious to me.
I will be eternally grateful to Brigid for going through the effort of finding me – a huge thank you to Nick for tracking me down and putting me in contact with her. Thank you also to one gentleman living in Paris who contact my mother completely separately.
Viva Facebook for making this possible!