Brit picks out cheap $14 ring at second-hand market—30 yrs later, jeweler drops a bombshell

Don’t throw away the costume jewelry you’ve purchased from the flea market, because it could be worth a fortune! A British woman received a life-changing sum of money after selling off a diamond ring, which she assumed to be fake, at Sotheby’s.

In the 1980s, with a fortunate stroke of serendipity, an unnamed woman in west London came across an “exceptionally sized” ring in a flea market at West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth.

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The sparkler was dirty and dusty; nonetheless, it piqued her interest.

Assuming the ring was just a piece of decorative costume jewelry, she bought it for 10 pounds (approx. US$14).

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Totally oblivious of its true value, the woman wore the ring every day for 30 years, until one day she met a jeweler.

The jeweler revealed a secret about the ring—it could be something of value.

The woman thought her ring was a replica; nonetheless, she brought it into Sotheby’s to have it appraised.

“We had a look and said … ‘I think that’s a diamond’ and we got it tested at the Gemological Institute of America,” Head of Sotheby’s London jewelry department Jessica Wyndham told Evening Standard.

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No one knew the history of the ring prior to its arrival at the flea market. However, one thing is for sure: The dusty gem is actually a 26.27 carat, cushion-shaped, white diamond from the 19th century, worth a whopping 350,000 pounds (approx. US$490,141)—a life-changing amount of money!

The astonishing news left the woman incredibly excited.

“The majority of us can’t even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large,” Wyndham said.

“This is a one-off windfall, an amazing find.”

It wasn’t surprising the owner assumed the sparkler was fake as the older style of diamonds was “slightly duller and deeper than you would see in a modern style … it could trick people into thinking it’s not a genuine stone.”

“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,” Wyndham shared.

“The older stones have quite a bit of personality, they sparkle in a different way.”

The diamond ring, now named the Tenner, was eventually sold for 656,750 pounds (approx. US$919,715)—almost twice the amount Wyndham had anticipated—when it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London, according to Business Insider.

Are you amazed by the woman’s incredible find? Perhaps it’s not such a bad decision to drop by a flea market, or any type of second-hand market. Who knows what treasure one will discover!

Watch the video below:

Sources: Business Insider, Evening Standard.

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