The hit BBC valuation programme Antiques Roadshow saw a guest left in shock as expert Joanna Hardy estimated a brooch she had brought in was worth up to a huge £20,000. The jewellery guru described her surprised as she realised how many diamonds were adorned on the brooch. The owner was left speechless after learning what the item was worth.
“When you came to my table and showed me this, I was about to say, ‘That’s really lovely but it’s costume jewellery,'” Joanna explained.
“Then I looked at it and thought, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s not costume jewellery because they’re all diamonds.'”
The guest replied: “I inherited it. My partner was a jeweller in Hatton Garden and there was a competition, if you look like a Duchess, and this was the prize. He made six in silver.
“However, unbeknown to everyone else, he made a real one in his garage in platinum and diamonds.”
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Joanna described the original which was sold at auction in 1988 for just over $600,000 to Elizabeth Taylor.
She continued: “Now, when Elizabeth Taylor died, the brooch went for $1.3m.
“Now I saw that brooch when it was at the Elizabeth Taylor sale, and I didn’t think it was very good quality to be honest with you, and I turned over this and looked at the back – it is fantastic craftsmanship.
“It’s so much better than the original that I saw.”
The excited woman beamed as she spoke to the cameras about the brooch.
She stated: “After my partner died I was miserable for a few years and then I thought, ‘Blow it.’
“I went on a cruise, got myself a couple of evening dresses and wore that and it was a knock out.”
She admitted she wouldn’t be selling the sentimental item any time soon.