Antiques Roadshow guest reacts to valuation
Antiques Roadshow expert John Benjamin left a guest speechless when he dropped a draw-dropping revelation about her supposed “worthless” sapphire brooch. The BBC guest revealed she had brought the brooch to several jewellers who questioned the authenticity of the item but John stunned the owner when he gave his expert valuation.
John began: “Now when we were sitting at the table back there you said to me, ‘I’ve got a brooch that’s always been known as the big blue blob.’
“And sure enough when you see it residing there in this case, it’s a big blue blob.”
Explaining the item’s history, she said: “I inherited it from my grandmother, who gave it to my father, who gave it to me to wear on my wedding day, which I did.”
“Well the brooch itself was made about the mid to the end of the 19th century so it is about 130, 140 years old,” John continued.
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“The style of it is actually quite ordinary. It’s a cushion and it’s got a big blue cushion stone surrounded by white stones.
“Then we move on to the issue which is what actually is the blue stone and you’ve been told by some jewellers to take it away, it’s valueless.”
She revealed: “It’s costume jewellery, they didn’t believe us. They were quite rude to me and my husband.
“Some people said it was paste, some people said they weren’t real diamonds, some people said they were real diamonds but they weren’t good quality.”
In the episode that first aired in 2020, John said: “So you’ve been told by a number of jewellers that it’s an inconsequential piece of costume jewellery mounted on a piece of blue glass worth nothing.
“So if I were to say whoever these jewellers were they were talking absolute rubbish, would you be happy to hear that?
“This is not a piece of jewellery of no consequence at all it is a piece of significant consequence because the stone in the middle is an absolutely enormous sapphire. Cushion-shaped sapphire.”
The guest gasped as John added: “Now just take in the size of it because usually if someone has a sapphire ring, it’s a small stone on the finger.
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“But that sapphire, I’ve done an approximation of the weight of it and I think it weighs 25 to 30 carat. In the world of gemstones that’s quite big actually.
“It comes from Ceylon which is, of course, Sri Lanka today. Ceylon sapphires are typically this very bright cornflower blue colour
“The white stones – you were told blithely by a jeweller that these were paste. They’re diamonds, mounted up in gold and set in silver and it’s in its original fitted box and it’s an absolute screamer, it really is.”
Then it was time for John to reveal his valuation of the item and the brooch’s owner was stunned by what he had to say.
“Now I have to be honest with you, I’ve done this show for so long I’ve never seen a sapphire of this size ever bought onto the Antiques Roadshow, this is a real first time for me,” he said.
“If I were to take such an item of jewellery and consign it to an auction I would expect it to make between £40,000 to 50,000.”
“Oh my word, I don’t want to swear,” the guest remarked. “Blooming heck!”
“Blooming heck indeed, it’s an absolute beauty. What else can I say about it? It’s fabulous,” John added.
Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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