A CHARITY-minded shopper who donated a handbag to a St Luke's Hospice store has discovered to her horror she may have left an irreplaceable ring inside.
Elizabeth Shaine, of Hitherwell Drive, Harrow Weald, wants to appeal for the return of the jewellery, which she describes as a wide, chunky gold band with wavy edges, a barked effect finish and set with four small diamond and amethyst stones and four small gold pieces.
The 68-year-old retired receptionist said: “The ring means a lot because I had it especially made for my daughter's birth. I called it my 'maternity ring' and it would have been hers by right eventually.”
Mrs Shaine said she handed over the white handbag to the charity shop in High Road, Harrow Weald last year but only recently realised the item, designed by Alan Gard, could have inadvertently been in it.
“I wore it rarely as it was chunky and a bit too heavy but I wanted to wear it again so I looked in the draw I would have put it and found it wasn't there. Then I thought: 'Oh, the bag! Did I take the ring off one day and put in the bag?' I've looked in all the draws where I thought I would have put it away.”
Mrs Shaine, who runs an Harrow Carers art group at Hatch End's Harrow Arts Centre every Friday, said she remembers wearing the ring on a hot day on which she went shopping in Harrow town centre and believes she may have slipped the ring into her white handbag when it became uncomfortable.
She thinks she subsequently failed to check the bag thoroughly before donating it to charity, partially because she had some medical concerns playing on her mind at the time. I don't have any other answer about where it could be, and I feel stupid, and sad,” she said. “On the other hand, if it's gone, it's gone.”
St Luke's Hospice chief executive Mike Coward said: “We are sorry for the loss of something of such sentimental value. We hope someone recognises the bag, and if the ring was in it, and is able to return it to the owner.
“Unfortunately people need to check their donations to St Luke’s to make sure they are giving what they want as due to the large volumes of donation we receive, we have to assume that anything donated is intended for sale as we are seldom able to know who donated an individual item, especially when it is in with other items.”
Did you buy the bag and inadvertently find the ring, or know what happened to it? Contact chief reporter Ian Proctor on 07795 811230 or firstname.lastname@example.org