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Digging around in toilets doesn't sound like a very rewarding activity - what could you possibly find aside from a bunch of waste? However, archaeologists in France recently found out that the effort it takes to dig up a toilet can be well worth it - they discovered a rare piece of jewelry with historical significance.


According to FOX News, a 3.5-inch hairpin belonging to the 16th century French Queen Catherine de Medici was found at a royal residence outside of Paris. Archaeologists were digging in the area while preparing the site for restoration and were surprised to find the artifact. Apparently, this is the first time in modern history that a personal item belonging to the royal has been found at Fontainebleau Palace.


You may be asking yourself how they knew that it was Catherine's hairpin, especially because it was found in a public toilet - not a private bathroom like the ones she would have used. The piece is unmistakably hers because it bears her initials - two interlocking Cs that stand for Catherine. When the grime was cleaned off, it was also noticed that there's a green and white finish on the pin, which were Catherine's colors.


The queen was well-known for her lavish jewelry collection, but over the years most of the treasures have been lost, stolen or sold to private collectors. The hairpin itself may have been stolen, seeing as it was found in such a strange place.


"Maybe it was a lady-in-waiting who took it. Perhaps it was stolen, and just fell in," speculated Vincent Droguet, conservator of Fontainebleau Palace. Either way, the discovery is certainly a mystery.


This isn't the first time a piece of jewelry has been found in a toilet - many homeowners renovate to find lost rings, earrings and even necklaces that were flushed. But how do you keep yourself from losing such precious items?


Many women remove their jewelry before washing their hands at the sink or taking a shower, leaving the items on top of the vanity while they're going about their business. This can easily lead to a mishap, as anything could accidentally knock a piece into the toilet, especially a towel placed nearby.


Instead of placing your jewelry directly on the countertop, consider buying a small soap dish or container that can safely house your possessions while you wash up.

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