When an unsuspecting boot sale buyer purchased a piece of supposed costume jewellery three decades ago, they had no idea the ring would change their lives.
Believing the stone set into their ring to be faux diamond, the proud owner paid just a tenner for the piece and wore it daily to pop to the shops and do the dishes. The true value of the ‘exceptionally-sized’ stone has now been revealed, to the tune of £350,000, according to a professional valuation.
The 19th century stone is a 26.27 carat, cushion-shaped, white diamond, which was not cut to show off its clarity and worth – and the cut is how the owner came to mistake it for costume jewellery.
According to Jessica Wyndham, Sotheby’s Head of Jewellery:
With an old style of cutting, an antique cushion shape, the light doesn’t reflect back as much as it would from a modern stone cutting.
Cutters worked more with the natural shape of the crystal, to conserve as much weight of the crystal rather than make it as brilliant as possible. The older stones have quite a bit of personality, they sparkle in a different way.
The owner bought the disguised diamond at a car boot sale in West London in the 1980s and it will now go under the hammer at auction in July at Sotheby’s, reports BBC.
Wyndham recounted the owner coming in for valuation after thirty years, saying:
The owner would wear it out shopping, wear it day-to-day. It’s a good looking ring. But it was bought as a costume jewel. No-one had any idea it had any intrinsic value at all. They enjoyed it all this time.
But it was bought as a costume jewel. No-one had any idea it had any intrinsic value at all. They enjoyed it all this time. They’d been to quite a few car boot sales over the years. But they don’t have any history of collecting antiques and they don’t have any history of collecting diamonds.
This is a one-off windfall, an amazing find. They came in with the idea that it might be real and they had no idea of its value. We had a look and said, ‘I think that’s a diamond’, and we got it tested at the Gemological Institute of America.
Jessica explained the owners were overjoyed at the valuation, adding, “The majority of us can’t even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large. No matter what your background is or what your past experiences have been, it’s going to revolutionise someone’s life.”
The diamond ring will be offered as part of Sotheby London’s Fine Jewels sale, on July 7, so until then we can all while away the hours wondering what we’d do with that welcome cash injection.