Thinking it was merely a crystal, an incredibly lucky woman bought a 26-carat Golconda diamond ring for a mere $12 at a car boot sale

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Sometimes, being lucky is not enough; you have to be keen-eyed too. Still, it ended well for the lady who bought a striking ring at a hospital car boot sale for $12. She loved her ‘crystal’ ring, picked up in the 1980s as a decorative ornament, and sported it everywhere, from chores to parties and weddings.

Three decades later, at the insistence of a jeweler friend, she agreed it was time to have it valued. It turned out the crystal was a Golconda 26-carat diamond, nothing close to a costume jewel, and was auctioned by Sotheby’s for a staggering £656,750 in 2017.

Industry expert Tobias Kormind, who runs, explained, ‘It originates from the 1800s – before the discovery of modern diamond mines and a time when very few diamonds were available.

Several diamond dealers have already inspected this diamond to assess how large a modern cut diamond can be made from it. The new owner is likely to re-cut it into a modern diamond that will emit even more sparkle and potentially be worth a multiple of the Sotheby’s estimate.’

Sotheby’s head of the London jewelry department, Jessica Wyndham, said: ‘The owner would wear it out shopping, wear it day-to-day. It’s a good-looking ring. But it was bought as a costume jewel. No one had any idea it had any intrinsic value at all. They enjoyed it all this time.’

The stone has changed many owners since, per Instagram account David Harry Jewels, it was sold for £900,000 ($1.1 million) recently. Intriguingly, no one had a clue how the Tenner Diamond belonging to the 19th century landed at the car boot sale.



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