$5k gold chain found sewn into op shop cushion
A $5000 gold chain and medallion with an engraving indicating it was presented as a trophy in 1929-30 has been found sewn into a $4 cushion at a Southport op shop.
And in an incredible story of chance, a volunteer at the store recognised the name as that of a relative, meaning the chain has been returned to its grateful owner, who at age 88 had forgotten she had sewn it into the cushion for safekeeping and had thought the chain was lost.
An unnamed customer at the Southport Church of Christ Op Shop was about to buy the cushion but on close inspection, realised a hard object had been sewn into the lining.
Op shop director Steve Wiggins said he was shocked to discover a 15 carat gold chain and medallion engraved with "Rifle Club Six Highest Shoots''. The engraving says the winner, J.E. Tomlinson, had the best average over distances up to 600 yards for 1929-30.
Mr Wiggins said a man's name had been stitched into the floral cushion.
In another twist, a volunteer at the store recognised the jewellery bore the name of her great-uncle and the piece was able to be returned to his daughter, Patty, 88.
"The gentleman had since passed on but we were able to return the chain to his daughter Patty who had sewn the chain into the cushion many years ago for safe keeping and forgot about it," he said.
"She then donated the cushions to the op shop, not knowing what was left inside.
"Patty was very surprised to have it returned as she thought she may have lost it.
"She hasn't taken the chain off since she got it back. She'll be keeping a close eye on it this time."
Mr Wiggins said although the store had only been up and running for three months, such a pricey and sentimental find was rare.
"Sometimes we find $10 notes in pockets and things like that, but nothing of this scale before," he said.
"It was really a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. The buyer of the cushion was really good to have noticed it so we gave them a discount."