A family are pleading for any information that could lead to the return of precious jewellery of huge sentimental value that was stolen in broad daylight from a well-known home near Ashurst recently.

Thieves broke into the home of Lynne Atkins last week and only took jewellery, which included her engagement ring and her late husband's wedding ring, and some other jewellery that Lesley Atkins had given to his wife during their marriage.

Mr Atkins was a former lawyer, district court judge and Queen's Counsel, who died in 2016.

Their daughter Rebecca Atkins had posted an emotional plea on social media in an effort to locate the precious items. The post has been shared more than 4000 times in Australia, UK and Mexico.

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"We are devastated this has happened to Mum," she said.

There were 17 items stolen from the well-known house called Greenhaugh Gardens near Ashurst, many of them family heirlooms. The burglary took place sometime during the day on Sunday.

She said the ring and daisy necklace (pictured) were the most easily recognisable.

"Mum is most upset about Dad's wedding ring. It is very distinctive. It is roughly made out of gold and has an Irish harp stamped into it," she said.

"This was originally my great grandfather's ring. It meant a lot to my Dad, and after Dad passed away, it meant even more to my Mum."

"She wore it on a chain around her neck most days. We are hoping and praying that somehow Dad's ring will make its way back to my Mum."

A photo of the stolen ring, a 120-year-old family heirloom.
A photo of the stolen ring, a 120-year-old family heirloom.

"The necklace was a present from Dad to Mum. I'm including it as it is also very distinctive and easily recognisable - three daisies in white and yellow gold."

"Can you please, please share...maybe some magic might just happen."

"To whoever took it, please can you at least return this ring? It is 120 years old and we've only recently lost the wonderful man who wore it, Les Atkins."

"You might have even met him or heard of him and liked him. He spent most of his life trying to help people who had a hard time of it and needed someone on their side."

"He always saw the best in people. Please find it in your heart to give us this small piece of Dad back."