How does anyone find anything that they've lost? This can be shockingly mundane, but still an exciting search.
How to Find said Item
Step 1--Try to recall the last time you remember having it. (Did I leave the club with it? Yes. Ok, everything AFTER the club)
Step 2--Retrace your steps. Work backwards from where you are. Did you take a cab? Call the cab company. Maybe you even remember the name of the driver. If you keep bugging them and learn that your cabbie suddenly won the lottery or perhaps something stranger, then you might trace it back to him--and then track him down, and find that he has lost it as well. You might convince him to retrace HIS steps along with you, with the idea that you'll share the artifact. Who knows!? The possibilities are endless.
Step 3--Should you not find it by retracing your steps, asking questions of people nearby (or of the cab company) may supply you with leads. If not, there's always the newspaper/news. If you learn of something that "fits the profile" for the item being used, you may be able to trace it that way.
How to reclaim the item
I think that any sufficiently motivated person who understood what it could do would use the above steps. The current owner may actually be plagued by the former owner, or even by several owners past who have joined forces to reclaim what has been cruelly dashed from their hands. Or they haven't joined forces and are all wanting it back and are at cross purposes.
Reclaiming the item could take a number of routes.
1--Stealing it back.
2--Taking it by force. With or without killing the current owner.
3--Using legal means
4--nicely asking for it back because the person doesn't yet know what they have.
Number 3 is unlikely because of how quickly it passes on, however, if the individual is powerful enough (perhaps because of previous wishes) they might employ a staff for retrieval AND use the system to their advantage.
Someone who has been chasing the object for a long time may actually have an idea of how and why it works, because they have studied it, tracing it back through multiple owners. Greed doesn't have to be the motivator--the person can just be intrigued by the pattern and might share the information with all the others who have lost it. ("Let's form a Monkey's Paw Club! I can do the newsletter! My uncle once had it, and he died a broken man. It's fascinating! Look! I have a map of the globe with possible sightings through the ages!")
All in all I would absolutely say that is NOT a problem. It's an Opportunity for so very much fun for the reader! Rich with possibilities.