A distraught bride whose handmade £6,000 engagement ring was stolen on her wedding day is delighted after a generous jeweller replaced it for free.
Caroline Marshall, 32, was tying the knot with James Granshaw, 29, in June at a a secluded village church, when a bridesmaid’s handbag was stolen – with the bespoke sapphire and diamond-encrusted platinum band inside.
The couple, both from West Sussex, launched an online campaign to help find the ring which gathered 100,000 supporters within just 24 hours.
But despite offering a £1,000 reward, it was never recovered following the theft as the couple said their vows at St Peter ad Vincula, in Wisborough Green, West Sussex.
As well as the monetary value, the ring held sentimental significance. James, a qualified barrister and legal adviser at Waverley Borough Council, had spent months researching ethical jewellers for a ring that did not contain so-called ‘blood diamonds’ – mined in conflict zones. There are plenty of wedding bands on this site that are ethnically sourced like the one James had worked so hard to research.
He even helped to design the ‘irreplaceable’ ring himself.
The generous jeweller
British-born Ashraf got in touch with the family via email, they sent him the bespoke ring’s specifications, and he sent the delighted newlyweds an exact copy.
Caroline, who had come to terms that she may never get her ring back, said she was astonished by Ashraf’s act of kindness.
‘I am truly overwhelmed by Mr Ahmed’s generosity,’ she added.
‘It’s been a difficult time as it cast a shadow over our wedding day but I’m thrilled with my new ring and I can’t thank him enough.’
James’ father Mervyn, a retired airline pilot from Guildford, Surrey, added that they had never expected this result when they set about finding the stolen jewellery.
‘Our online campaign was to hopefully get the ring back, or to at least make it too hot that any jeweller presented with it would know it was stolen.
‘We never expected the sort of generosity Mr Ahmed offered, and are eternally grateful.
‘This week the ring was delivered to James and I now have a very happy daughter-in-law again with a beautiful ring back on her finger.’
Mervyn added that the family had received an overwhelming amount of support from other members of the community and they couldn’t be more thankful.
‘We had so much support from all quarters, for which I am eternally grateful, and without this we would not have had this fairy tale ending.
‘In this season of goodwill, I would very much like to let everyone know that there are some kind people in this world.’