A guest on Antiques Roadshow has been left gobsmacked after experts valued her “worthless” sapphire and revealed a revelation.
On Antiques Roadshow, guests are often left surprised or disappointed when they bring along an item they expect to be worth lots or nothing much at all.
Yet the show’s expert, John Benjamin, left one guest on the BBC show absolutely gobsmacked when he told her that her sapphire brooch, which had previously been dubbed “worthless”, was actually worth quite the penny.
The guest told John that she had brought the sapphire brooch along to several jewellers but they had always questioned the authenticity of her item.
John said: “Now when we were sitting at the table back there you said to me, ‘I’ve got a brooch that’s always been known as the big blue blob.’
“And sure enough when you see it residing there in this case, it’s a big blue blob.”
The guest then explained the sapphire’s history to John, she said: “I inherited it from my grandmother, who gave it to my father, who gave it to me to wear on my wedding day, which I did.”
John responded: “Well the brooch itself was made about the mid to the end of the 19th century so it is about 130, 140 years old.
“The style of it is actually quite ordinary. It’s a cushion and it’s got a big blue cushion stone surrounded by white stones.
“Then we move on to the issue which is what actually is the bluestone and you’ve been told by some jewellers to take it away, it’s valueless.”
The guest then revealed: “It’s costume jewellery, they didn’t believe us. They were quite rude to me and my husband.
“Some people said it was paste, some people said they weren’t real diamonds, some people said they were real diamonds but they weren’t good quality.”
John said: “So you’ve been told by a number of jewellers that it’s an inconsequential piece of costume jewellery mounted on a piece of blue glass worth nothing.
“So if I were to say whoever these jewellers were they were talking absolute rubbish, would you be happy to hear that?
“This is not a piece of jewellery of no consequence at all it is a piece of significant consequence because the stone in the middle is an absolutely enormous sapphire. Cushion-shaped sapphire.”
Shocked by his words, the guest then gasped. John added: “Now just take in the size of it because usually if someone has a sapphire ring, it’s a small stone on the finger.
“But that sapphire, I’ve done an approximation of the weight of it and I think it weighs 25 to 30 carat. In the world of gemstones that’s quite big actually.
“It comes from Ceylon which is, of course, Sri Lanka today. Ceylon sapphires are typically this very bright cornflower blue colour
“The white stones – you were told blithely by a jeweller that these were paste. They’re diamonds, mounted up in gold and set in silver and it’s in its original fitted box and it’s an absolute screamer, it really is.”
Of course, the expert on the show always has to explain the history behind the item, but honestly, the guest probably just wanted to know its value by this point. After all, she had finally been told the item was what she thought it was and she hadn’t been made to feel embarrassed if he had said it was worth nothing.
John then revealed to her his valuation of the brooch and the guest couldn’t believe what he had to say.
He said: “Now I have to be honest with you, I’ve done this show for so long I’ve never seen a sapphire of this size ever bought onto the Antiques Roadshow, this is a real first time for me.
“If I were to take such an item of jewellery and consign it to an auction I would expect it to make between £40,000 to 50,000.”
The guest remarked: “Oh my word, I don’t want to swear. Blooming heck!”
Amused by her response, John commented: “Blooming heck indeed, it’s an absolute beauty. What else can I say about it? It’s fabulous.”
Relive the moment the 'big blue blob' turned out to be an enormous sapphire worth a small fortune @ThePieceHall – Do you want our experts to value a treasured possession? Apply to be on our 2020 shows https://t.co/j8gob1y7Li pic.twitter.com/NkAxmZykeP
— Antiques Roadshow (@BBC_ARoadshow) July 12, 2020
In another episode of Antiques Roadshow, viewers were left in hysterics after the expert drank a 180-year-old bottle of urine after he mistook it for vintage port. After extracting the yellowish concoction from the bottle with a syringe, he didn’t stop his analysis of the drink there and thought it would be interesting to have a taste!