Couple's engagement loses its sparkle due to ring repair row
A woman's jubilation at being asked to marry the love of her life turned to devastation after her sparkling diamond engagement ring "fell apart".
Personal trainer Ruth Hyndman got engaged to boyfriend Philip Fields in February after he got down on one knee and popped the question.
After Ruth said yes, Philip placed the £2,000 sparkling diamond ring on her finger. But eight months later, one of the diamonds fell from it.
Philip, an agricultural contractor from Moneymore, bought the ring in Goldsmiths in Victoria Square, Belfast, a year before he proposed because he wanted to be prepared for the special moment. But in doing so, the ring went out of its warranty period.
Ruth, who noticed the missing diamond in October, said: "The ring was gorgeous, with four diamonds placed in a square, and I wore it with pride.
"However, at the start of October, I noticed that one of the diamonds was missing.
"I searched high and low for it, but I could not find it. I am very careful with rings and always take them off while working.
"I called the store in Belfast in a panic and took the ring back to them. Sadly, the ring was out of warranty because Philip had kept it for a year while waiting to propose, but obviously no one wore it in that time.
"The shop examined the ring and told me that it didn't look to have been shock-damaged, which reassured me somewhat that I had not caused the damage."
The store sent the ring back to the manufacturers, who wrote to Ruth four weeks later asking for £120 to repair it.
"Both Philip and I were angry at them wanting more money because the damage was not our fault," Ruth said. "Stupidly, we agreed to pay the fee."
Another two weeks passed and finally the ring was ready to be collected in the Belfast store.
The couple went back to pick it up, but they felt it had not been properly repaired.
"I put the ring on in the shop, but I was very scared and paranoid about the repair," Ruth explained.
"We went for a coffee nearby and I said to Philip that it didn't look or feel right and that one claw was sitting up too much.
"We went home with the ring, but just the next day it was catching on my clothes. I was not happy with it and I called the store again. Once again, I was told to bring it back and, once again, we had to make the long trip from Castlerock to Belfast.
"The store could only send the ring away again for repair, but I desperately wanted the ring over Christmas. The shop assistant assured me it would be back in time and it had a December 20 return date to the store."
However, Christmas came and went without Ruth receiving a phone call, so she contacted the store once more and stressed how unhappy she was.
After many "arguments", the personal trainer said the jeweller agreed to refund the total cost of the ring, plus the £120 repair fee.
"That was very good of them, but it took a lot of time to sort out," Ruth said.
"We have lost the special feeling that came with the new ring when Philip first gave it to me.
"I was without my engagement ring for more than two months, and now we have to go and look for another one."
A spokesperson for Goldsmiths said: "We endeavour to offer high-quality products, but very rarely we have an issue. In this instance, the customer was offered a full refund."