Staff at jewellery replacement and consultancy company Jewellery Appraisals Services (JAS) - part of Loss Management Group - are still bemused by claimants' tales.

JAS director Tim Belson recently investigated the claim of a woman who said she'd lost an 18-carat gold and diamond pendant worth £2,500.

"I called on the woman at her house in Berkshire," said Belson. "The lady told me she thought the pendant may have been stolen, perhaps by a cleaner. As she had all the relevant documentation it all seemed fairly genuine."

As the lady continued to describe the pendant, however, Belson noticed she was wearing something remarkably similar round her neck.

"Is it like the one you're wearing now?" he asked.

Looking startled, the woman clasped her neck crying: "How wonderful - you've found it!"