Lady Wears Costume Ring For 30 Years, Then Realizes It's Worth Hundreds Of Thousands.

Was It A Mistake?

Was It A Mistake?

Ice Carats

She was baffled by what the woman had just told her. The appraiser must have made a mistake, or so she thought. She had never been in this predicament before, and she figured that neither had the appraiser. She wasn’t sure what to do, but if the woman was right, then she had just become filthy rich.

My Precious

My Precious

Petticoat Lane Market

Back in the 1980s, the unidentified London resident was rummaging through things at the West Middlesex Hospital’s flea market, just west of the city. Most of the things were old, but not in the best of shape. Since she only had a couple of bucks on her, she wanted her purchase to count. And then, as she was looking at a necklace, she saw it in the corner of her eye. It was a huge, sparkling ring. She turned and instantly knew that this ring was meant for her.

She Was Drawn To It

She Was Drawn To It

Sotheby's / ITV

The woman was looking for something that was all nice and pretty, but it had to look expensive too. Fortunately, the ring looked luxurious, but she wasn’t sure she’d be able to afford it. Nevertheless, she picked it up, took a closer look. There was something about the ring that she couldn’t quite figure out. But she was sure of one thing. She felt an inexplicable connection to the piece of jewelry.

Next Time

Next Time

Sotheby's / ITV

The ring’s mount and crystal were huge! It looked like something that had come out of a fairy-tale, which is why she wanted it so badly. She figured that it wasn’t real, but it would serve as motivation so that she could buy herself a real diamond ring someday. All she had to do was save up enough money. But she had no idea that her dream was a lot closer than she could have imagined.

She Felt Like A Princess

She Felt Like A Princess

Petticoat Lane Market

From that day forward, she wore the ring whenever she went shopping, and she felt like a princess. But she never regretted her purchase. After all, she bought it for about $13 (£10). And since it wasn’t that expensive, she thought, if she lost it, she wouldn’t cry over it. But for thirty years, she hadn’t realized the ring’s true value. Then, she went to the grocery store, and that’s when everything changed for her.

She Was Being Followed

She Was Being Followed

WFLA / News

The Londoner was heading home from work, but decided to stop by a grocery store to do some shopping. She grabbed what she needed and went to the check-out stand. But while she waited in line, she noticed a strange man was looking at her hand. At first, she tried to ignore him. But she had no idea that the mysterious man wasn’t about to give up that easily. In fact, he was determined to keep her in his sight until he gave her a piece of his mind.

She Feared The Worst

She Feared The Worst

The woman had started feeling uncomfortable as the man continued to stare at her ring. As soon as it was her turn, she paid for her products and rushed out of the store, but he was still looking at her and he was following her everywhere. Her heart started beating a little faster. She was afraid for her life. But the man was relentless in his pursuit.

The Gap Closed

The Gap Closed

Twitter / DailyLONDON

The woman rushed to her car, but kept the man in her peripheral vision. Along the way, she tried to shake him off in the crowd, but he continued pursuing her. She couldn’t stop wondering what he wanted from her. But was she paranoid or was this really happening? Then the gap between them closed. He was standing right behind her. So, she turned around to confront him. But then he told her something that totally blew her mind away.

It Doesn’t Belong To You

It Doesn’t Belong To You

Medical News Today

Something about her costume jewelry had made the mystery man follow her. Then he asked her something that caught her off guard. He knew she was scared, but he didn’t care. He was too busy eyeing her ring. He immediately asked her if he could take a better look at the ring. She didn’t appreciate the way the man had approached her, so she brushed him off, and she wasn’t polite about it either. Then, she walked away. But as she turned, the man yelled, “It doesn’t belong to you!” She wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but it didn’t matter. She just wanted to get home. So, she put the mystery man out of her head… but that was only temporary.

Secret Of The Ring

Secret Of The Ring

Sotheby's / CDN

The woman was struggling to make ends meet. Then, she remembered the mystery man who clearly thought that her ring was valuable. But who did it originally belong to? The strange encounter made her take the ring to Sotheby’s London. She figured that if anyone would have the answers she needed, it would be them. She wondered if the ring had belonged to a famous person. After all, the ring’s silver was tarnished and dirty. But it didn’t take a genius to figure out that it was old too. But what secrets did the ring harbor? A few days later, all of her questions were finally quelled.

They Had To Keep It

They Had To Keep It

JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP / Sotheby's

The woman was filled with dread. She had given the ring to Sotheby’s, but what had she done? What if her ring was valuable and they never gave it back? What if this was all a part of the mysterious stranger’s master plan? Sotheby’s told her that they would run a couple of tests on the ring, which made her heart stop. Then, Sotheby’s jewelry in London reached out to her. It turns out that the stone was actually a 26-carat cushion-shaped white diamond that dated back to the 19th century. The Londoner was utterly speechless. Had they made a mistake? How was it possible that she had been wearing something so valuable on her finger this whole time?

It Belonged To Royalty

It Belonged To Royalty

Sotheby's / CDN

Jessica Wyndham, the head of Sotheby’s auction house’s jewelry department had all the answers she needed. Wyndham told her that the ring was possibly owned by someone in the Royal family back in the 19th century. She believed this was true because the diamond cutting was "slightly duller and deeper" than in modern times, so "it could trick people into thinking it's not a genuine stone."

Everyone Thought It Was Worthless

Everyone Thought It Was Worthless

ITV News / Jessica Wyndham

"With an old style of cutting, an antique cushion shape, the light doesn't reflect back as much as it would from a modern stone cutting. Cutters worked more with the natural shape of the crystal, to conserve as much weight rather than make it as brilliant as possible." The old style cutting and antique shape made it seem like it wasn’t valuable. But the true price of the ring was eye-watering. Wyndham also shared why it took so long to get the ring appraised. “We confirmed that it was indeed a diamond. We got it tested with the Gemological Institute of America … and that then dictated the price.”

They Had No Idea

They Had No Idea

Jessica Wyndham / Sotheby's

Wyndham told the woman that the ring could be worth as much as $450,000 (£350,000) at an auction. To drive the point home, she explained that the cut of the stone made the diamond sparkle less. Plus, the ring was dirty, so no one saw the truth. So, in essence, it was a diamond in the rough, and might have remained that way. “They came in with the idea that it might be real, and they had no idea of its value,” said Wyndham.

A Happy Ending

A Happy Ending

Sotheby's / Twitter

The Londoner was convinced that the ring sparkled at the flea market’s stand. It’s the reason she was attracted to it. But maybe it was destined to be hers. After living paycheck to paycheck, this seemingly worthless ring had changed her life forever. The ring was auctioned off and made a whopping £656,750. This not only made her money issues a thing of the past, but it made her feel as though she was a total princess. And who could blame her? After all, the ring may have belonged to a royal!

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