A PIECE of jewellery worth £1,500 was accidently sold by a Hampshire charity shop for just £1.99.

Volunteer shop assistant Debbie Aston-Thwaites is appealing for the treasured bracelet to be returned after it was mistakenly put on sale at the Age UK shop in New Milton.

Debbie, of Barton on Sea, was serving at the shop when she noticed that the catch on her bracelet had become stuck.

“I was going to lock the bracelet away with my handbag but showed it to a colleague who said she would have a go at fixing it for me,” she said.

Debbie returned to the busy sales area and went home later that day after forgetting to retrieve her property.

She rang the shop the next morning but it was several days before she discovered that her bracelet had been sold.

The precious object, a family present for her 50th birthday, was given a price tag of £1.99 and was bought by a customer the following day.

Debbie said: “I’m shocked that anyone would think it was a cheap piece of costume jewellery – it was gold with diamonds and had a hallmark. It’s part of the job to assess what something is worth.”

She has now contacted police in a bid to find the bracelet.

Age UK’s managing director of retail, Hugh Forde, said that the charity had also launched an investigation into the sale.

But he added: “As the matter is the subject of a police investigation, we are unable to comment at this time.”

Debbie criticised Age UK over how it has handled the matter and accused the charity of failing to take it seriously.

She has since quit her volunteer job.

“It’s just too awkward,” she said.

Hampshire police confirmed that they had received a report of the missing bracelet and that enquiries were ongoing.