We all lose things from time to time, but losing something as precious as a piece of jewellery can feel like a devastating loss. From earrings, to necklaces, to bracelets, to rings, jewellery tends to hold a special place in our heart because of its sentimental, and often monetary, value.
It can be relatively easy to retrace your steps and track down lost jewellery in small spaces like your home, work or a friend’s house. But when you’re out and about, using public transport, it can be much more challenging.
Our Lost and Found report asked over 2,500 Brits if they’ve ever lost jewellery on public transport, including engagement and wedding rings, what emotions they experienced, and if they were reunited with it.
16 million Brits have lost jewellery on public transport
The results are in, and if you’ve ever lost jewellery while on your travels, you’re certainly not alone. Almost a third (29%) of us have accidentally parted ways with our jewellery while on our travels, which is the same as almost 16 million people when comparing this figure against the population of the UK.
Men (34%) are more likely to lose jewellery than women (25%), which may come as a shock to those who assume women typically wear more items of jewellery and could be more at risk.
Where do Brits lose jewellery the most often?
Naturally, we wanted to find out what type of transport is the most common place to lose jewellery. And the culprit is... buses! Hold on extra tight to your jewels next time you’re on board, as 37% of Brits who have lost jewellery on public transport say it was while travelling by bus.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Londoners are the most prone to losing jewellery as two in five admit to having lost something on public transport. With such a broad network available and 2 million people alone using the tube every day, it’s easy to lose something in the hustle and bustle of the city. Brits in Birmingham are the next most likely to lose jewellery with nearly a third (32%) misplacing a piece while on board, followed by Bristol (31%).
Men feel more heartbroken than women over a lost wedding ring
An engagement or wedding ring is often the most special piece of jewellery to many people, but who is the most devasted to lose it? Men are in fact most heartbroken to lose their wedding ring on public transport, compared to women (31% and 24% respectively). They’re also more likely to feel guilty about losing it too (29% and 20% respectively).
However, women are the most secretive as almost half (48%) did not tell their partner when they lost their engagement or wedding ring, compared to just over a third of men (36%).
How does this change when looking at all types of jewellery, beyond engagement and wedding rings? Almost half of Brits (47%) say they experienced heartbreak after losing a sentimental piece of jewellery, and women (60%) are much more inclined to feel heartbroken than men (37%).
In the case that the missing piece of jewellery was gifted or a family heirloom, over a third (36%) of Brits did not tell the person who originally gave it to them. This figure shot up to 41% for men, compared to just 26% for women.
One in five launch a social media appeal to be reunited with lost jewellery
In most cases, Brits (48%) reported their missing item to the network’s own Lost and Found department. Some (22%) reported it lost to the police and over one in five (21%) launched a social media appeal to find their precious jewel.
On the route to reunion, there’s an even success rate, as 49% say they have been reunited with their lost jewellery, and the remaining 51% sadly haven’t. Nearly one in ten (9%) still hold out hope they will be reunited though.
Within the first two weeks is when you are most likely to find your lost item. After this, your chances drop exponentially. Of those who were reunited with their jewellery, more than a third got theirs back between 1-2 weeks, and a quarter in 3-4 weeks. One in ten took more than two months (13%).
Brits on average have lost jewellery worth £183
Over two in five Brits (43%) have lost an item of jewellery on public transport that cost more than £100. On average, Brits lost jewellery worth £183, but the most expensive piece totalled in at £1,500. While most items were more modest prices, we can imagine the emotional value lost was perhaps a much bigger price.
Nearly half of Brits have found jewellery on public transport
Flipping the scenario around, more than two in five (43%) Brits have found jewellery while on public transport. One in 20 say they kept the item for themself, and 8% even sold it on or gave it to somebody else. Though, Brits most commonly (20%) handed it in to the police or the network's Lost and Found. An adventurous one in ten even started a social media appeal to find the owner. With the virality of social media these days, we certainly can’t blame them for trying!
If you’re looking for your next special piece of jewellery, or perhaps you want to treat a loved one who may have lost theirs, browse our bracelets where you can find our signature charm bracelets, bangles, tennis bracelets and more. For extra peace of mind, take a look at our safety chains and clips that keep your most treasured charms and bracelets securely in place.
Through Censuswide, we surveyed 2,509 nationally representative Brits to discover attitudes and behaviours associated with losing jewellery.