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Metal detectorist reunites Broughty Ferry woman, 82, with stolen engagement ring after 34 years

Dorothy Nicoll from Broughty ferry has had her engagement ring returned to her after 33 years.
Dorothy Nicoll from Broughty ferry has had her engagement ring returned to her after 33 years.

A Broughty Ferry woman was stunned when a local metal detectorist returned her engagement ring – more than 30 years after it was stolen.

Dorothy Nicoll, 82, couldn’t believe it when George Taylor tracked down her family after finding the long-lost trinket on Carnoustie Beach.

Mr Taylor enlisted friend Liz Neish and the pair embarked on a quest to hand it back to its rightful owner.

All they had to go on was a date and initials engraved on the inside of the ring.

From those few clues, the amateur detectives managed to find records of Dorothy’s 1963 wedding to Andrew Nicoll that matched.

A search through Facebook led to Dorothy’s daughter Hilary and the ring was returned.

Dorothy, who hadn’t seen it since her home was broken into in 1987, gave it to to a local jeweller who replaced a stone and gave it a clean and she is now delighted to have it back.

Dorthy and husband Andrew on their wedding day, December 26 1963.

She said: “When Hilary told me someone had been in touch to say they had found my engagement ring I thought ‘it can’t be, impossible’.

“I had given up on it right after it had been stolen.

“But as soon as I saw it I recognised it straight away because of the engravings inside.

“The local jeweller did a great job and now I am over the moon to have it back.”

The break-in

George Taylor. who found it the ring on Carnoustie Beach, with Dorothy.

Thieves ransacked Andrew and Dorothy’s Beach Crescent home while the couple were at the theatre one night in 1987.

Dorothy, who now lives in Brook Street, said: “We arrived home and saw instantly the TV, record player and things like that were gone. My jewellery box as well.

“The stone was missing out of the ring so that’s why I left it at home in the jewellery box.

“We never heard back from the police so I assume the thieves were never caught.”

Dorothy wearing the ring again after 34 years.
Dorothy wearing the ring again after 34 years.

Andrew died about four years ago, making the ring’s return all the more bittersweet.

“He would have loved to have seen it again,” Dorothy said.

“Andrew was a student at the time we got engaged and he got some money from a job and then said ‘let’s get married’.

“We went to buy a ring and both agreed on that one straight away, although he said the reason he liked it was because the stone was the same colour as a pint of Export.”

Finding the ring

Dorothy was stunned when she heard the ring had been found.
Dorothy was stunned when she heard the ring had been found.

George Taylor, 60, found the ring during one of his regular jaunts to comb the sands of Carnoustie beach and uncovered it about four inches beneath the surface.

The retired fire ground technician said: “For me it’s about the wonderful stories you find out about by doing this.

“I’m just happy to be happy to get the ring back to her.

“I feel quietly chuffed with myself. It gives you a great sense of satisfaction.”

It is not the first time George has managed to reunite long-lost jewellery with its owner.

In 2015, he was able to give Alex Jones her father’s engagement ring 43 years after it was lost on the sands of St Andrews.

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