A woman who lost her handmade engagement ring, created by a late family friend, has been found thanks a neighbour spotting it in the street.

Helena Williams, 35, from Loughton, realised the silver ring was missing after returning from a fitness class in Buckhurst Hill last Monday.

The mother-of-three, who works in aviation insurance in London, had placed the ring in her pocket only to be devastated it was not there.

“I was absolutely devastated I cried for three days. My colleagues at work said they had never seen me look so depressed and generally heartbroken.

“My husband and I turned the house and car upside down, looking everywhere. I drove back to the road in Buckhurst Hill for an hour looking there but some how must have missed it.”

The ring which has three small diamonds was custom designed by close family friend Richard Harris.

Mr Harris was a jeweller based in Redbridge, who sadly passed away from cancer a few years ago.

“I knew I wanted something different and not the norm so my husband sent Richard a few pictures and designed something one of a kind,” explained Mrs Williams. “It’s my last connection to him he was a really big part of our lives, he was our son’s godfather.”

In an attempt to retrieve the small jewellery item, the family decided to put an appeal on the Epping Forest Neighbourhood Watch Group Facebook page on Wednesday night.

Within 24 hours the post had been shared over 240 times by fellow members.

“I was amazed by the number of people who shared it, just shows so many people do care, lots of people comment saying they are so pleased I have found it, it’s a nice community spirit.”

The person who discovered the sentimental piece of jewellery on Bancroft Green in Loughton was Bhavin Patel, a payroll account assistant.

“She was just chuffed,” said Mr Patel. “I just going to work as normal everyday walking to the station and I spotted the ring on the floor, put it in my rucksack and totally forgot it was in there and then showed to my wife towards the end of the week.”

It was then that the 40-year-old’s wife Anita noticed the Facebook appeal and realised it was Mrs Williams engagement ring.

Mrs Patel sent a Facebook message to Mrs Williams on Sunday morning, only to discovered they live just doors apart.

Mr Patel added. “She almost burst into tears when she saw it, they got us a bottle of champagne, but we didn’t want to accept it but she said ‘please accept it’.

“As long as she got what she needed it was more about the sentimental value.”