Antiques Roadshow contestant gobsmacked to discover true value of 'worthless' brooch

14 July 2020, 10:19 | Updated: 14 July 2020, 10:45

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

The woman was left gobsmacked when John Benjamin told her the brooch's true value.

An Antiques Roadshow guest was left reeling after being told her 'worthless' broach could actually fetch £50,000 in auction.

A woman who appeared on the BBC show over the weekend told John Benjamin that she had taken her sapphire brooch to a number of jewellers, none of whom were sure whether it was authentic.

However, John later confirmed that it was indeed the real deal - and told the shocked woman it was worth between £40,000 and £50,000.

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He 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.'

The woman was left shocked when she found out its true worth
The woman was left shocked when she found out its true worth. Picture: BBC

"And sure enough when you see it residing there in this case, it’s a big blue blob."

The woman then revealed that her grandmother had given it to her father, who had then passed it on to her.

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She added: "[He] gave it to me to wear on my wedding day, which I did."

John then spoke about the origins of the brooch, saying: "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 brooch is worth around £50,000
The brooch is worth around £50,000. Picture: BBC

"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 blue stone and you’ve been told by some jewellers to take it away, it’s valueless."

The woman then told him: "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 then told her: "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.

"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 25-30 carrots. 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 woman had previously been told the brooch was worthless
The woman had previously been told the brooch was worthless. Picture: BBC

"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."

"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 shocked guest then said: "Oh my word, I don’t want to swear. Blooming heck!"

John smiled and responded: "Blooming heck indeed, it’s an absolute beauty. What else can I say about it? It's fabulous."

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