A woman was staggered when she bought a diamond and sapphire brooch onto Antiques Roadshow, only to be told it was poorly designed and yet worth a small fortune.
The guest had inherited it from her mother, who in turn had inherited from another relative.
Examining the brooch carefully, jewellery expert John Benjamin said: "Do you mind if I am a little plain speaking about this?
"This is not the most exciting of designs.
"It’s a series of wirework fronds terminating in four colourless stones and you’ve got a kind of three-leaf clover effect here.
"There is nothing about this piece that really gets you going."
Despite his criticism of the unappealing design, he did have some good news for the guest.
He added: "Well, there’s one thing, of course, that does get us going, because if I pull away my thumb, there, it reveals a large, beautiful stone.
"Do you know what the stone is? It is a cushion-shaped Ceylon sapphire
"So it would’ve been mined in Ceylon – Sri Lanka – and it would’ve been cut locally."
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He then asked the guest to "tell me as much you know about it", as she explained how it came into her possession.
"All I know about it is it belongs to my mum," she said.
"It was left to her by her aunt, and it was left to her by her father, so my great-grandfather I believe.
"And he was a pawnbroker in London, and that is as much about it as I know."
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John said the whole design was "made up" but the sapphire itself made it truly valuable.
"This whole frame and the sapphire itself would’ve originated in Ceylon in around the 1940s or 1950s," he said.
He added: "So where are those diamonds from? I think they may have been set from a different piece of jewellery."
The sapphire, which he described as "deep", was estimated to be "seven-and-a-half carats" by weight, he said.
Giving his valuation, John added: "It all boils down to the value of the sapphire.
"A seven-and-a-half carat Ceylon sapphire of this particular colour is going to be worth at least £4,000-£5,000."
Shocked, the guest said: "Very nice, that's great!"
John went on to tell her that the discovery of a sapphire like this was "remarkable" – even if the jewellery design itself was nothing special.
Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and every Sunday night at 8pm on BBC One.
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