Antiques Roadshow guest speechless at Victorian diamond collection Good God

Antiques Roadshow: Diamond brooch collection valued at £20,000

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Antiques Roadshow was being filmed from Stonor Park in Oxfordshire when a husband and wife brought in the collection of diamond and emerald brooches, some of which dated back to the Victorian period. Jewellery historian John was impressed by the collection, which he analysed on the BBC show. He confirmed which of the items were authentic and which were not, but the guests were not expecting the total valuation he gave at the end, and were left lost for words.

Displaying the items, John explained: “I’ve set them up chronologically, from the first piece made at the end of Victorian, to the last at the end of the 1930s.”

“These pieces of jewellery were given to my wife on our wedding day by my mother,” explained the guest.

“And she indicated that they were given to her on her wedding day by her mother and because there was no daughter in the family we suggested that should we have any daughters going forward, the jewellery could be given to that particular daughter on her wedding day.”

Inspecting the diamond collection, John stated of one item: “This pin is set with a very large green stone, and white stones – that was made in about 1910.”

He asked the couple: “Now, what do you think the green stone is?”

“I thought it was an emerald,” the owner replied. But John dashed their hopes by answering: “I wish it was. It would be worth an absolute fortune.

“It would be worth £100,000 if it were, but it’s glass.” Fortunately, there was still an array of jewellery left.

“Moving on to this one,” John began, gesturing towards a brooch with a green stone surrounded by silver.

“This was made in about 1915 – it’s also set with white stones. Now, what did you say you had hoped that one was?”

“We hoped it was an emerald,” responded the guest. “That is,” John replied, pointing towards the brooch.

“And it’s a super stone from Columbia – that’s where the best ones come from.

“It’s a really lovely, rich, bright green colour. And it’s in a diamond frame that’s deco.

“Art Deco is that rectangular, geometric linear construction – it’s all good news.”

He continued: “Now, this one is a clip. I think that you know, don’t you, that you can actually dismantle it to form a pair.

“They’re all diamonds again – that therefore splits down the middle and you wear one on each lapel of your jacket; these are lovely, lovely pieces.”

It was then time for the moment of truth when John commented: “Now we’re going to move onto the values.”


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He explained: “Your pin – £10.” The guests laughed and repeated: “£10?”

John remarked: “The diamond bow here – it’s small, it’s pretty – £1,200 to £1,500.

“The clip brooch – that is probably worth around £3,000. The diamond crescent brooch – I like that one, it would make between £3,000 and £4,000.”

“£3,000 and £4,000? Okay,” replied the guest, looking stunned.

“I haven’t finished yet,” John responded. “The diamond target brooch with a nice big diamond in the middle, I quite like that – I can see that making £3,500 to £4,000.

“Now, this magnificent Columbian stone in the middle – that’s real. That’s worth £5,000 to £6,000.

“Good God,” the owner commented. “Incredible.”

“This is a really wonderful comprehensive group of 19th and 20th-century jewellery,” John added.

“So if you were to sell it – £15,000 to £20,000.” The guests were bewildered.

One managed to say: “I’m just blown away… It’s just been tucked away in a drawer.

“I mean we thought they were real diamonds but had no idea of the value. Thank you so much. Incredible.”

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