Guest on the Antiques Roadshow Discovers the Astonishing Value of her Family Brooch
Tapping Into his Expertise
Antiques expert John Benjamin has worked on the Antiques Roadshow for twenty-five years. During this time, he has provided valuations for countless items. Recently, John told one fortunate lady how much the antique she gave him to look at was worth.
Spanning the Country
The Antiques Roadshow was first broadcast in 1979, and has entertained viewers ever since. People regularly tune in to see antique experts visit different cities, hoping to discover some hidden gems. Lots of people bring personal belongings to these roadshows, to find out more about their history and whether they are worth a significant amount of money.
The Halifax Event
For the show’s 41st season, the producers chose Halifax as the filming location. This is a West Yorkshire town.
Piquing his Attention
John quickly got into a conversation with a woman, who had a fascinating story. The brooch she brought with her sparked his interest. After looking into the jewellery case, he sensed that he might have stumbled onto something interesting, and wanted to examine it closer.
A Family Heirloom
The antiques expert wished to know everything about the brooch’s history, and how the woman had come to own it. The guest explained that it used to belong to her grandma, who eventually gave it to her son (the guest’s father), who then gave it to her. Her father thought that the brooch could be used as ‘something blue’ for her wedding, and she has kept hold of it since then.
Understanding the Past
The woman stored the brooch securely in her house, however now she was keen to find out about its’ history. Her family had owned it for decades, so it had sentimental value to many of her relatives.
The Style was Ordinary
John soon determined that there was nothing unusual about the brooch’s style. The center stone was shaped like a cushion, and it seemed as if it was in its’ original box. In addition, the centerpiece had a number of white stones circling it. Next, he had to discover what these were. Previously, the woman attempted to research her brooch, but the jewelers in her local area were not particularly helpful.
Scoffed at her Openly
Actually, the woman said that some jewelers had told her to “get rid of it”, and that the item was “worthless”. Lots of jewelers just assumed that the brooch was costume jewelry, and thought that the woman was wasting their time by asking them about it.
Surprising Results Afoot
John thought that the brooch deserved more credit than this, so he asked the woman a simple question: would it make her feel good to know that the jewelers she spoke to were talking rubbish? This made the woman smile, because she sensed that her instincts about the piece had been correct.
A Historic Item
John explained that the brooch was an item of “major significance”. He thought that it had been made well over 100 years ago, in the mid or late nineteenth century.
A gem to Behold
The guest believed that the center stone on the brooch was just colored glass, intended to resemble a gemstone. In actual fact this was not the case, as John explained that it was a massive sapphire.
John realized that the sapphire originated from Ceylon, a part of the planet now called Sri Lanka. In this region, the sapphires tend to be colored bright cornflower blue, so they are more noticeable than other varieties. Notwithstanding, some professionals have been known to overlook them, but not in John’s case.
Weighing up the Item
John thought the brooch’s sapphire weighed between twenty-five and thirty carats. This made it a massive gemstone, in comparison to others that are available for sale.
The Devil’s in the Detail
John wasn’t finished yet. He realized that all the white stones that circled the sapphire were real diamonds. To add the cherry on top, the item had been gold mounted, prior to being totally set in silver. Because the woman had the brooch’s original box, this was a major bonus as well.
Valuing the Item
Amazingly, John estimated that the brooch could fetch anything from £40k to £50k ($52.9k to $66.1k). The guest was so thankful that she kept family heirloom & left stunned by price. She let out an audible gasp of astonishment, upon hearing the news. With a bit of luck, the jewelers who laughed at her were watching the program, and kicking themselves for missing out on such a valuable piece.
Words are not Enough
John appreciated the beauty of the brooch and admitted that he was lost for words, other than to say “it is fantastic”. John was just as pleased as the woman to get the opportunity to examine such an item.