A mum claims that sentimental jewellery – including a £4,000 engagement ring – was melted down due to a misunderstanding at a pawn shop.

Ann Murdoch says that she lost her 7.6 carat solitaire engagement ring and her quarter carat diamond wedding ring after she failed to keep up payments to Cash Generator in Irvine.

But the carer from Dalry says that the rings were part of a verbal roll over agreement and that the store should not have had them destroyed.

Ann said: “I’ve got three girls and obviously I want to pass them [the rings] to them when I pass away.

“They’ve got very much sentimental value.

“My engagement ring is 7.6 carat and worth £4,000. That’s the main one. My wedding ring is a quarter carat diamond.

“It had five diamonds inside the band.

“My engagement ring was a solitaire. It was valued at £4,000.

“That’s how my husband always dealt with the manager because it was such a valuable ring, no one else in the store was allowed to deal with the paperwork.

“It costs us three months wages for this ring when we got engaged and we’re told, ‘It’s been a mistake and we’re very sorry’.

“If they said they’d give us compensation so I can go and get like for like, I’d be happy.

“It’s really hard to think £4,000 and they’re giving me nothing.”

Ann and her husband Derek had payments outstanding on two rings which they had placed in Cash Generator.

The couple had paid half of the money required and had arranged to square up the balance and collect the rings on Friday, March 9.

Although this was past the payment deadline, Ann claimed that this had been cleared with the manager as part of a roll over agreement.

But Ann said that when Derek went to pay the balance and collect the rings, he was told that the wedding band had gone missing.

Ann said: “I was heartbroken over the idea they’d lost my wedding ring. At first I kept saying, ‘As long as I get my engagement ring back’.

“She [the manager] said, ‘Don’t panic, I cannae find the wedding ring but I’ve got the big one here’, meaning my engagement ring.

“That was her exact words.

“She [the manager] said the shelving had fallen and a boy working there said he was going to go in on the Sunday and take the shelves apart because they thought it might have fallen down behind them.

“She was panicking, really panicking.

“Then on the Monday he said they’ve been sent away, they’ve been melted down.

“The manager said she was awful sorry.

“I want to know, if that ring’s been melted down, where’s the diamond? I said I’d be happy if you give me my diamond back because you can get a band cheap.”

A spokesperson for Cash Generator said: “Cash Generator will buy items from customers and hold these for a set period, usually 28 days.

“The customer then has the option to buy the item back before the end of the agreement.

“After no further contact from this customer the store took the decision to sell the item.”