Maid returns £6m jewels she thought were costume

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Jewels of US ambassador’s wife left in lost and found for 6 months.

Jewellery worth £6 million belonging to the wife of a former US ambassador has been recovered five years after it was reported stolen.

The jewellery was found in the possession of a hotel maid who had mistaken it for costume jewellery.

The Dutch maid had originally found the jewellery in a black velvet bag in the lounge of the hotel at which she worked. She handed the bag of baubles into the hotel’s lost and found department but after it lay unclaimed for six months it was awarded back to her and she took the jewels home believing them to be costume jewellery.

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Meanwhile Dawn Arnall, wife of former US ambassador Roland Arnall who was stationed in Holland, thought her jewellery had been stolen and reported the supposed theft to police in The Hague. When the investigation found no jewels and no suspects, her insurance company paid out.

It was only in October last year when the maid in possession of the jewels took them to be valued after noticing the fine settings of the jewellery. The jeweller was then shocked to discover that the supposed costume jewellery he was valuing was actually worth nearly £6 million, including one necklace set with a 5ct pink diamond that is worth £3.4 million.

After the discovery the maid informed the police of her discovery and the jewellery was returned to Arnall who then passed it on to her insurance company. The maid is hoping to be rewarded for her honesty with a 10% finder’s fee but the insurance company has no legal obligation to offer this.

 

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