Moral dilemma? Would like some input please

I was advised to write here as a moral dilemma and I can't find a place which seems more apt than here.
A friend visited, she left an item of jewellery at my home. Next time I went to her place I took it with me to return it in my pocket. Due to events at the time I forgot to get it from my pocket. I think I lost it by it getting hooked up with my keys on the way home, either way I no longer have it.
I've offered to pay for a new one, however the item was of particular sentimental value. My discussions have yielded these answers:
It's her fault for leaving it in the first place.
It's my fault for losing it.
I cannot replace something of sentimental value so why bother?
I should pay for something else.
I should just hand her the money.

I would want to someone to replace it if it were me, but then I aklso know it could not be replaced and I'd be accepting it for the morality of it being the other persons fault.

What do you think?

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  • Dimey
    Dimey Posts: 1,434 Forumite
    I'd pay to replace it and apologise that there's nothing I can do to make up for the sentimental value. Hopefully she'll accept that as she, after all, did forget it in the first place.
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  • I'd ask her flat out - offer to replace it, but say 'If you don't want a pale imitation of what was a sentimental item, I understand completely', and take her for a meal maybe to make up for it, or get a few bottles of wine and a takeaway and have a night in. She should accept that, as she did leave it in the first place - if it had such sentimental value and was so important she would have collected it sooner from you, rather than trust you with it! (No offence intended there!)
  • I would try and replace it with a similar item and enclose a letter explaining how bad you feel about it and you know it had sentimental value. A letter is much more personal in these situations and might help. Of course you can never replace a sentimental item, but hopefully your friendship will continue.
  • gayleygoo
    gayleygoo Posts: 816 Forumite
    That's a tough one. It's probably not worth replacing if she is mostly upset because of the sentimental value, and I agree that it's not entirely your fault as she did misplace it first. If the item was very expensive and she wants it replaced or the money handed to her, you shouldn't be expected to cover the full cost either - it's not like you borrowed it and lost it while you were using it. She took it out of her house, which is always a risk with any valuable or sentimental thing.

    Is there a different way to try to make it up to her? Have you tried advertising in the area for it and offering a reward for its return?

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  • arbroath_lass
    arbroath_lass Posts: 1,607 Forumite
    What does your friend want?

    I'm not sure what you think the dilemma is, sorry. You lost it you give her the money to replace it. If she doesn't want to because of the sentimental value that is up to her.
  • Only she will know exactly how much the item meant to her

    If it was my item which was lost by or damaged (by accident) then personally I wouldn't want a similar item as every time I looked at it it would remind me it wasn't the actual item

    I would rather have a completely different item which when I looked at it I would be reminded about how nice my friend was to replace an item and the original sentimental reason

    I wouldn't expect the same value but if the original was a few hundred quid I would be a little disappointed if the new item was only worth £20
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  • We don't know the reason the jewellery was left behind in the first place, was it carelessness or was she helping with something like redecorating and removed the jewellery for safety, but however it came about, it was definitely due to the OP that it got lost. So although it can't be replaced, I think it's right that a substitute is offered, and accepted, in order for these two friends to put the incident behind them.

    If that happened to me, ie I was the one whose item was lost, I would appreciate an apology and an offer of replacement, especially if the apology came with a card containing an invitation to go shopping together to choose a suitable piece of jewellery. Under those circumstances, I would select something I liked with a modestly comparable value to the original, rather than attempting to cash in on his feelings of guilt, and we could both enjoy the shopping expedition and turn the loss into a positive experience.
  • whitewing
    whitewing Posts: 11,852 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Did you walk home? Have you actually had a look down by the front door or anywhere close by? You may be lucky. It is worth a bit of effort due to the sentimental value.
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  • oldtrout
    oldtrout Posts: 129 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If the ring was of sentimental value, she may not want it replacing. Ask her!

    Seems to me that you are both to 'blame', so discuss with her what she feels would resolve the issue. I don't think giving her the money is a good idea, but it depends on the value of the ring.

    If it was extremely valuable, she may have been insured for it. In which case, she could possibly claim for its loss. If not, then perhaps you could treat her in some other way.
  • XRAT
    XRAT Posts: 239 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    You can pay to replace the jewellery (though it is your friends fault more than yours, a. they left it. and b. they didn't collect it if it was that valuable to them!) but the sentiment is priceless literally.
    All you can do to compensate for the sentiment is offer your heartfelt appologies, if your friend thinks that is not enough.., they are no friend.
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