'I'm really sorry but I don't have a ring' - Man loses sapphire engagement ring moments before proposing on Portobello Promenade

Gordon Rae is appealing to the public for help to find the missing ring.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 6:26 pm

A pub landlord lost a sapphire and diamond engagement ring moments before proposing on Portobello Promenade.

Gordon Rae was carrying the £1,100 ring loose in his trouser pocket and reckons he managed to drop it somewhere between Leith and Portobello, during the 10k walk from their George Street hotel on Monday.

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And the 31-year-old, who runs a pub in south-west London, said he noticed he'd lost it "two minutes before" proposing to Julie Verhelst despite checking his pocket "what felt like 100 times" beforehand.

'Gutted'

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News on Wednesday, Gordon said he was "gutted" about losing the ring, adding: "I checked just moments before and that's when I realised I had lost it. I was obviously quite nervous about it.

"My first thought (after realising I'd lost it) was just to break off the proposal and buy another ring and propose another time. But I had two minutes to propose and thought to myself, 'what if I can find it on the promenade after I've proposed?' I thought we'd have a chance of finding it but obviously not.

"I sort of proposed and said, 'I'm really sorry but I don't have a ring. I think I have dropped it and we panicked between the two of us. But she said yes.'"

Gordon said they retraced their footprints along the beach and stopped in at numerous bars, restaurants and cafes to make staff aware and leave their contact details. They also reported it to the local police station.

Gordon, whose family are originally from Glasgow, continued: "We did have a celebratory lunch at The Ship on The Shore once back in Leith but it was tinged a bit by what had happened."

He described the ring as white gold with a rectangular sapphire in the middle and two round diamonds on either side.

Considering Edinburgh move

Gordon and his fiancee had been staying with his parents in Penrith with their three-year-old daughter, Margot before visiting Edinburgh for a couple of days at the start of the week.

The couple met in London about 10 years ago after Julie, 33, moved their after working as an Au pair in Edinburgh for a year. She moved over to the Capital from her home in Lille, France.

They have bee considering a move to Edinburgh in the near future and Gordon thought it would be a nice place to propose.

Staff at their hotel, the Eden Locke apartments in George Street, had recommended the walk down to Portobello Promenade on Monday and Gordon decided it was the right time and place to pop the question.

He believes he may have dropped the ring on the beach close to where he ended up proposing, close to The Beach House cafe, at about 2pm on Monday.

The couple had left their hotel for the walk at about 11am and went to Leith Harbour before walking along Seafield to get to Portobello Beach.

Appeal for lost ring

Gordon said he bought the ring in a local jewellers in Barnes, south-west London, a couple of weeks ago, while there with his young daughter.

He said: "I got it up to Cumbria and to Edinburgh without any drama and I had been keeping it loose in my pocket because I didn't want her to see a box. I must have checked what feels like 100 times before I realised it was missing."

Gordon has also shared his appeal in local Facebook groups including Lost & Found - Edinburgh and The Lothians.

He added: "I would hope if someone finds the ring, they will make the effort to get it back to us. I know that my family and friends would make the effort.

"It's not like I dropped £20 and someone can use it to buy a few beers, it's a bit more than that."