A woman who owned a glittering jewel that had been passed down her family for generations took it to be valued on Antiques Roadshow – and ended up with her head in her hands.
When asked by expert and presenter Joanna Hardy how she came to own the massive sapphire, the guest explained its special history.
She said: “It was given to me by my mother-in-law, she inherited from her mother.
“Her father gave it to her mother when she was born, it was to commemorate her birth, my mother-in-law was born in 1921 so I presume that’s when it dates from.
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“And we lost our mother-in-law on Christmas Day, at the age of 97 and she gave it to me on my wedding day, which was just lovely.”
Joanna revealed that the style did seem to reflect the 1920s, but there was more the story.
The expert said: "I would say the bar didn’t come at the same time. There are no marks on it at all.
“But it is platinum, it is set in platinum, have you looked at this sapphire in any other light?”
Joanna then whipped out a torch and revealed that the sapphire changed colour when exposed to different wavelengths – ranging from an inky purple, to red, to sky blue.
Joanna said: “In 12 years of doing the Roadshow, this is the second colour-change sapphire I have seen, but it is by far the biggest.
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“So I am jumping up and down inside because it is just such a treat for me to see this and I would say at auction, you would be looking in the region of around £20,000 to £25,000.”
In disbelief, the stunned guest put her head in her hands and took several seconds to regain the ability to speak, eventually saying: “I’m never going to have the courage to wear it!
"Oh my goodness, thank you!”
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