As much as £1.6bn worth of jewellery may have disappeared down Britain’s drains over the years, according to new research from drainage specialist Lanes Group.
The YouGov survey of 2,011 adults found that 14% of Britons had personally lost a piece of jewellery to a drain, with an average value of £228.
Those living in Wales were the least out of pocket with the average value of each missing piece being £120, while in the east of England the figure was £335. One respondent in the south east claimed to have lost a jewellery piece worth more than £10,000.
The study found that women are more likely than men to lose a piece of jewellery down a drainage system. Around one in five (19%) of female respondents who had lost jewellery claimed to have lost an item in this way, compared with only 8% of men.
Meanwhile, the most likely place to mislay jewellery was on holiday, with 20% of respondents either having personally lost an item on holiday, or knowing someone who had.
A quarter of respondents managed to get their last piece of lost jewellery back, with those in Scotland (31%) having the most luck.
In total, just under a fifth (42%) of those surveyed had lost a ring, with 15% of those losing either a wedding or engagement ring.
Michelle Ringland, head of marketing at Lanes Group, said: “It is shocking to see just how much the value of jewellery we lose down drains amounts to, and we hope that this study makes the public more conscientious about keeping checks on their precious pieces.”