Antiques Roadshow: Value of opal diamond necklace stuns guest
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The unsuspecting Northumberland woman was clearing out her home and almost threw the stone in a bin, according to the BBC. But a neighbour suggested she take it, along with some other items, to be valued instead.
The woman has collected costume jewellery and other trinkets at car boot sales over many years.
She can recall neither where nor when she acquired this specific stone, according to Mark Lane Featonby’s Auctioneers in North Shields.
But she is unlikely to forget the day it was valued.
Mr Lane told the BBC the lady brought him a bag of jewellery which included the 34-carrot diamond “as she was passing because she had another appointment in the town”.
“Never once did she think it was a real diamond,” he added.
He then waited a few days before using a diamond tester machine.
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The result came as a “huge shock”.
The shop’s partner in London, along with diamond experts in Antwerp – home to the famous “Diamond Quarter” – confirmed the carat rating of 34.19.
This refers to the weight of a stone, with a greater weight signifying a higher carat and, in turn, a higher value.
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The stone is slightly larger than a pound coin in size.
Mr Lane said the pensioner wished to remain anonymous, but he was very happy to discuss his own experience of discovering the stone’s value.
“I was in shock when I was told how much it was worth. It was an out of body experience, the hair on the back of my neck stood up,” he said.
“It’s crazy how it all happened.
“We get everything from jewellery to fine art, and furniture. I’ve seen everything across the board but nothing of that magnitude in the five years I’ve been here.”
The diamond is set to be auctioned on November 30.
Until then, it will be closely watched in the Hatton Garden jewellery quarter.
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