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article imageWoman gets back ring she flushed down toilet two years ago

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 5, 2010 in World
A woman in the UK got her diamond ring back, two years after she accidentally flushed it down a toilet and had a company conduct a search.
Joan Speirs was at the Charlwood Hotel, near Gatwick, when she lost the antique gold ring, which was set with a large diamond and a dozen smaller ones.
She hired a company called Clear Master to try to find the ring. Although they put a lot of effort into the search, they were unsuccessful.
"She was understandably distraught. The ring was worth a significant amount of money but it was also of great emotional value because it was given to her by her late husband,” The Telegraph quoted Julie French, who directs the waste disposal company with her husband, Colin, as saying.
"We did everything we could. We emptied the sewage tank and put a camera into it to see if the ring had got lodged anywhere.
"We even sent a guy into the tank with a metal detector.
"We took out 12,000 gallons of sewage and put it through a filter we had built specially.
"We got permission to empty the tank at a Thames Water site and put it through the sewage works, hoping that would filter it out, but we still didn't find it."
Two and a half years later the company was clearing out a channel at the same works when an employee spotted a gem in the muck.
He cleaned it off and then took it to the office.
French said her husband, who had seen a photo of the lost ring, reconised it right away – although two of the small diamonds had fallen out.
They contacted the ring’s 67-year-old owner, who is the leader of Reigate and Banstead Council, in Surrey.
French said Speirs was emotional, and she had given up any hope of seeing it again.
"It gave us all a warm feeling because we knew how much it meant to her,” she added.
"She has had it professionally cleaned, because of where it had been for so long, and is keeping it in a much safer place now."
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