Rather than take a trip to the jeweller’s, the 46 year-old decided to pan his own gold in the Highlands as a unique symbol of his love.
To the astonishment of experts, Mr Greenwood produced 34 grams of gold that he claims to have collected in just three months.
He had it made into a ring set with three diamonds and presented it to his girlfriend of three years, Morag Shearer, in a Christmas proposal.
Mr Greenwood, an explosives technician currently between jobs, took up panning only 18 months ago and said his Midas touch was down to “beginner’s luck” as he worked the rivers in the Ochils near his home in Crieff, Perthshire.
“I started in September and by December I had 34 grams, which is a huge amount,” he said. “I’ve been incredibly lucky to find so much gold to make a ring but I was out there every weekend and in the evenings before it got dark, in freezing cold water.
Mr Greenwood used a simple gold pan, trowel, shovel and rake to collect tiny specks of gold from rivers around the Highland Boundary Fault.
Grant Logan, a goldsmith from Campbeltown, Argyll, used Mr Greenwood’s collection to fashion the ring. “When John realised he was finding gold he contacted me to ask how much he would need to make a ring,” said Mr Logan.
“I told him he’d need more and that gave him the incentive to keep going.”
Miss Shearer, 40, a physiotherapist, was aware that her partner was panning for gold but thought it was simply a new hobby.
The ring used just under four grams. Mr Greenwood said: “I’ve actually got so much left over I am holding it back to make our wedding rings.”