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A woman has been left devastated after the 'priceless gem' she found in her garden turned out to be a dud.
Like all good episodes of Antiques Roadshow, at least one person's hopes and dreams must be shattered.
Toni Hopley's father found what they thought could be a precious stone at the bottom of a tree in their garden. Excited over the possibility of it being worth a fortune, Toni shared news of her find on her social media followers, who speculated the stone could be a 'ruby' or 'Edwardian' ring.
If the 8.7mm stone turned out to be a genuine ruby, it could fetch around £38,000 ($50,000). However, Toni and her followers were left devastated when a jeweller revealed the item's true value yesterday (23 March).
Upon finding the gem, Toni took to Facebook on 12 March to share the discovery with her followers.
She wrote: "My dad was digging out this old tree stump in our back garden and this thing was embedded into the trunk.
"Does anybody know what it is, and if we're now billionaires?
"Or should I cancel our helicopter ride to a private yacht with a Chinese banquet and personal cocktail service whilst we travel around the world?
"We're taking it to a jewellers on Wednesday, so I'll report back either from the Bahamas or from the corner or my bedroom whilst crying."
After Toni went silent on social media, a follower urged: "Please give an update! I'm dying to know what it is! Along with thousands of other folk that are praying you found a true treasure! Don't leave us hanging..."
Alas, upon taking the 'priceless gem' to the jewellers, the stone was revealed to be worth a whopping total of three pence.
Toni updated followers: "So from the beautiful, gorgeous, sunny Hawaii, someone is reading this post while I sink a pint at my local Wetherspoons because my gem is worth all of three pence. It's costume jewellery, sorry guys."
Toni's story amassed over 24,000 likes and 10,000 comments on Facebook, with followers having flocked to the latest update in commiseration.
One said: "I was so rooting for you. Hoping it was ridiculously valuable and you would be in the VIP lounge at the nearest airport going to Barbados as you updated us. Thanks for giving us a good story and enjoy Wetherspoons."
Another wrote: "Never mind, the sun is shining and you have a drink in hand. Life's still good, enjoy."
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