A woman who accidently tipped precious diamonds and sapphires in a charity collection sack has been reunited with her jewellery against all odds.
The Woburn Sands resident, known only as Kate, was filling a Clothes Aid bag with unwanted clothes and bric-a-brac.
She tipped out all her jewellery from its box, intending to donate the container itself.
But, absentmindedly, Kate popped the rings, necklaces and earrings themselves into the sack, which she left outside her house for collection.
It was only when the bag had been collected that she realised her terrible mistake and made a frantic call to the national Clothes aid helpline.
“When I realised what I had done I wanted to cry!,” Kate said.
They notified the Milton Keynes depot, where staff immediately sprang into action.
Depot owner Nitin Sharma said: “The Clothes Aid collection teams methodically searched through over 1 tonne of clothing and bric-a-brac that had come in that day.”
After scouring hundreds of bags, with just 10 left to go, they finally hit the jackpot.
Kate’s collection, which included a diamond ring, sapphire earrings and silver bracelets, was fished out intact.
The depot called an overjoyed Kate and invited her to come and collect her possessions.
“I was amazed they managed to find the jewellery,” Kate added.
“I really did think it was a hopeless task. The Clothes Aid Helpline and depot were amazing.”
Nitin said: “‘We were so happy to find the jewellery, they were such personal items and we were really glad Kate was reunited with them.’
The Clothes Aid collection was for the NSPCC ‘Light up for Christmas’ appeal “Please look out for the bags - but just be careful what you put in them!” said a Clothes Aid spokesman.
Clothes Aid has been helping the NSPCC since 2009. Since then it has raising a massive £4.1 million for the charity from items people have donated in their sacks.