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Royal Jewels Sold by Airport

Travelers Today       By    Carly Okyle

Updated: Jun 20, 2012 04:55 PM EDT

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A tourist found a 5.16 carat diamond on vacation.(Photo : Flickr)

Lost luggage can happen to anyone, even British Nobility. Six years ago, the Dowager Duchess of Argyll lost a bag of jewelry at Glasgow Airport in Scotland.

Although the Duchess reported the missing items, including a diamond tiara, to the police and the Art Loss Register, nothing was turned in. Accordng to the Independent, the British Airports Authority (BAA) sold off the precious baubles in an auction without telling police or the Duchess that her property had been found.

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As was the typical proceedure for property left unclaimed after three months, the BAA sold the items to a merchant. The proceeds of the sale were given to charity. The jewels were sold for less than $7,864 (£5,000). This is a fraction of what they're worth. The items are valued at $157,275 (£100,000). There's sentimental value to the jewels as well. "The tiara was a Victorian family one and the necklace was given to me for my 21st birthday. So everything was very special," the Duchess said.

She's only been finding these belongings recently. In fact, the Telegraph reports that she discovered that a Cartier brooch of hers was listed in a catalogue earlier this year.

The broach and diamond tiara have since been returned to the Duchess, and the BAA has reimbursed the diamond merchant has been reimbursed. The 68-year-old royal is still missing emerald ring and pearl earrings. "I’m absolutely amazed," the 68-year-old royal said. "I thought that after six years I'd lost them forever." 

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