A LEADING Edinburgh antiques jeweller has amassed a £10,000 treasure trove of unclaimed valuables after forgetful customers walked out of his shop leaving them behind.
Alistir Wood Tait has dozens of rings, pendants, watches, family heirlooms and other valuables which he has obtained over 20 years.
Now he hopes customers will reclaim their belongings to clear space in his safe.
Some of the items which have been forgotten are an antique Rolex watch worth £900, strings of pearls worth £300 as well as scores of diamond rings, earrings and other expensive keepsakes.
A box brimming with unclaimed treasure
Alistir, sole director of Alistir Wood Tait added: “My colleague was clearing out the back office when she came across a box which is brimming with unclaimed jewellery dating back to 1984.
“Some of the items have been repairs which have been paid for. Whereas other pieces have been specially ordered, paid for, but never collected. It’s astonishing to think that people can forget to collect their beloved jewellery especially if it has sentimental value or they have had it specially made.
“One particular girl came into the shop in 1997 with a set of 18th century antique pearls. The set contains two brooches, a necklet and a bracelet and she was very precious over the items asking us to take special care of the pieces. However she has not been back and after numerous calls and letters we are at a loss what to do.”
Memories jogged about forgotten keepsakes
By law, unclaimed items can be sold at auction with all proceeds going to the owner should they ever come forward.
He added: “Rather than the items being sold at auction, I would urge people to cast their minds to see if they have unclaimed items which may have been left behind.”
“Usually people’s memories are jogged if a loved one has passed away and they can’t find the keepsake or they have come across a receipt and can’t find the missing item.
Due to the vast amount of expensive items being left, Alistir will be introducing a £10 annual safe charge policy for safekeeping of the jewellery.
He added: “As the value of the items which remain here amount to a small fortune I think it’s only sensible that an annual charge should occur. £10 is not a lot of money considering some of the pieces are worth a few thousand pounds and are irreplaceable.”