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Someone tell Tim Wonnacott and David Dickinson to pack it in, because someone's found the best bargain of all time.
A diamond ring is expected to be sold for around £350,000 when it goes to auction in July at Sotheby's in London. Nothing too unusual about that, right?
The ring was picked up for a tenner at a car boot sale back in the 1980s, as the buyer thought it looked like a nice piece of costume jewellery.
I'm most surprised that the woman managed to keep what she thought was a 'cheap' ring for decades. That's impressive. Anyway, she wore it day-to-day, while doing chores, not really thinking about it.
However, after a jeweller told her that it could be worth something, she popped into Sotheby's auction house in London to find out its true value.
Head of London jewellery department at Sotheby's, Jessica Wyndham, told the Press Association: "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."
She added: "The majority of us can't even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large."
Explaining how the owner really had no idea of the diamond's true value, she continued: "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."
I imagine the person who sold the ring originally is probably kicking themselves right now. Jessica added: "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 reckon that the diamond was cut back in the 19th century. That means that the older style could fool people into thinking it's not genuine. It was "slightly duller and deeper than you would see in a modern style" explained Jessica, "It could trick people into thinking it's not a genuine stone."
She concluded: "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."
What a find.
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