‘Antiques Roadshow’ Guest Discovers Real Value Of ‘Worthless’ Sapphire

An Antiques Roadshow guest has discovered the real value of her sapphire that has previously been labelled 'worthless'. 
Credit: BBC

An Antiques Roadshow guest has just discovered the real value of her sapphire that has previously been labelled ‘worthless’. 

The guest brought the sapphire brooch onto the show, as its authenticity had been put into question by jewellers in the past.

The jewel’s owner told Antique Roadshow’s expert John Benjamin that when she’d try to sell the bluestone in the past, people had been ‘quite rude’ and insisted it wasn’t ‘good quality’.

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The Antiques Roadshow guest was previously told that her sapphire was ‘worthless’. Credit: BBC

She explained: “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.”

She added: “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.”

After analysing the jewel, the expert said: “Well, the brooch itself was made about the mid to the end of the 19th century. So is about 130-140 years old.”

He continued: “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 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 onto the issue, which is what actually is the bluestone and you’ve been told some jewellery to take it away, it’s valueless.”

At this point, it didn’t sound too promising for the bluestone. However, Benjamin’s analysis hadn’t quite finished…

Hen then 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.”

He 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.”

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Despite all this information sounding incredibly interesting, many in the audience – and the jewel’s owner – were keen to find out what all this meant about the stone’s value.

So Benjamin then revealed that if it were to be put to auction, the bluestone could end up making around £40,000 to £50,000.

After hearing this, the owner remarked: “Oh my word, I don’t want to swear. Blooming heck!”

Amused by her response, Benjamin commented: “Blooming heck indeed, it’s an absolute beauty. What else can I say about it? It’s fabulous.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.