May 6, 2019

Jewellery from 1973 back to rightful owner

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:29 pm

Noa Wanders, a 12-year-old boy from Julianadorp, North Holland, was magnet fishing and made a great find that made an older woman’s day: valuables from her deceased parents.

The boy found a rusty box containing two engraved gold wedding rings along with a photo and a name, H. van der Wal. The boy looked up a relative, Selma van der Wal, 63, from Breezand, North Holland and asked if she knew a H. van der Wal. “He’s my father!” she answered. The boy also asked what her parents’ wedding date was, which could be found on the rings. Selma asked her sister and gave the right date to the boy who eventually returned the rings and photo to her.

Back in 1973 when Van der Wal was about 17 years old and no longer living at home, a intruder broke into her family’s home and stole the box containing the rings and some documents. Selma’s mother died very young and it was such a surprise to have something that belongs to her after all these years. Van der Wal thanked the Wenders family profusely and rewarded the boy well according to Facebook.

(Link:, Photo of unrelated costume jewellery by GlitzUK, some rights reserved)

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September 15, 2014

Man steals piece of royal carriage, owns up 50 years later

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:02 am

golden-carriage-zoetnetIn 1955 fireman Cor Priele and two colleagues had to guard the Golden Carriage which was on display in Rotterdam at the time.

Guard duty must have been boring. The firemen, Poot, Smaal and Priele, started using the royal carriage as a room to sit in and even to play tag around. That’s where things went south. Priele’s boot got caught behind the royal bench and a golden string broke off.

The three guards decided not to tell anyone because it would mean they would get fired on the spot. “I was very, very scared”, the former fireman from Sleeuwijk, Noord-Brabant told Omroep Brabant. He took the string home and kept it in an empty jam jar.

But this year, 50 years after the heinous deed and with both of his colleagues deceased, 83-year-old Priele decided to make amends. He wrote King Willem-Alexander a letter explaining what happened and offered both his apologies and the return of the royal, golden string.

The Golden Carriage was built in 1898 by the Spyker brothers (even before they started making motor cars) as a gift from the citizens of Amsterdam to Queen Wilhelmina on the occasion of her ascension to the Dutch throne. Citizens of Amsterdam chipped in 25 cents each.

It is as yet unknown whether the King has taken Priele up on his offer or not.

(Photo by Zoetnet, some rights reserved)

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April 7, 2014

Two billion euro in gold? Nah, keep it!

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:47 pm

gold-bars-sprott-moneyDutchnews wrote yesterday: “The Netherlands has no plans to try to recover 60,000 kilos of Dutch gold stolen by the Nazis during WWII and sold on to Switzerland, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told MPs.” Parliamentarians had been asking questions—it turns out the government had already decided not to ask the Swiss for the stolen gold in 2000.

An interesting story, but perhaps even more interesting is the question: does the Federal Reserve in New York still hold fifty percent of the Dutch gold reserve? According to Wikipedia the Netherlands is the country with the tenth biggest national gold reserve (654 tonnes), but half of that reserve is supposed to be in New York. When the Germans asked in 2012 whether they could come over and count their gold, they were told “no”. Germany then told the Federal Reserve it wanted some of its money back, to which the bank said it could take a while.

The American attitude has sparked rumours that the Federal Reserve has stolen the gold that a number of foreign nations have entrusted to it and is now scrambling to buy it back so that it can be returned to its owners.

(Photo by Sprott Money, some rights reserved)

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June 14, 2009

Royal palace Amsterdam reopens after extensive renovations

Filed under: Architecture,History by Branko Collin @ 8:05 am

As of today, the Royal Palace in Amsterdam will be open to the public again. The former 17th century city hall had been closed for renovations for three years.

Although the general public can visit the building—it used to draw 100,000 visitors a year—it is also still in use as one of the Queen’s palaces. Although she doesn’t live there, she does use the palace for formal receptions. Telegraaf reports (Dutch) that several suites for guests have been added. The renovators have tried to restore the palace to the Empire style—originally introduced by King Louis Bonaparte (the brother of)—meaning lots of light colours and gilded furniture.

Several modern conveniences have also been added, such as lifts, ground floor toilets, and air conditioning. The total cost of the renovation ran up to 80 million euro. The Rijksgebouwendienst (state building service) is now preparing for a controversial clean-up of the outside of the building—something that hasn’t happened since the palace was built 350 years ago, according to Parool (Dutch).

(Photo: Bureau Monumenten & Archeologie.)

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August 7, 2008

Fake cop stops gold transport; gang takes off with 70 kilos

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 7:24 am

A gang robbed two Belgians of 70 kilos of gold last week after one of them had stopped the transport dressed as a policeman. The Belgians, driving an inconspicuous BMW, had just left Schiphol and were on their way to their country when a policeman on a motor cycle signaled them to leave the highway towards a tunnel near De Meern (Utrecht). There his accomplices waited with a van and another car. The two Belgians were forced to leave their car at gunpoint. The robbers took all 70 slices of gold, totalling about 1 million euros in value.

A gold dealer from the Hague, a mr. Klumpers, says in Algemeen Dagblad (dagblad = “daily”) that he does not understand why the victims would transport gold in such an unsafe manner. “For shipments of this size we always use an armoured transport, for wich we pay about 10,000 euro. It’s a lot cheaper to do it yourself, but I’d prefer not to run the risk.”

Who would you stop for if you had a cool million in the boot?

Photo by Oleg Volk, some rights reserved.

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