The ring a woman she purchased for $15 turned out to be worth a small fortune.
Three decades ago, an unnamed woman bought an “exceptionally sized” gem from a flea market in London, according to Mashable. Unbeknownst to her, the stone she believed to be “costume jewelry” was very real and very valuable.
The woman owned the ring for many years and wore it regularly while shopping and doing chores. After a jeweler mentioned that the ring could be worth something substantial, the woman took it into Sotheby’s and learned that it was worth a whopping $450,000.
All that time, she had been walking around with nearly half a million bucks on her finger.
The woman — and likely the person who sold it to her — never suspected that the gem was real because the cut of the diamond didn’t accentuate the stone’s shine like modern gems do.
“With an old style of cutting ... 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,” said Jessica Wyndham, the head of Sotheby’s London jewelry department.
The diamond was tested at Gemological Institute of America where it was determined that the 26.27 carat, cushion-shaped, white diamond was cut in the 19th century. The stone is set to be auctioned on June 7.
Wyndham noted that the ring’s owner is “incredibly excited.”
“It’s a life-changing amount of money. No matter what your background is or what your past experiences have been, it’s going to revolutionize someone’s life,” she added.
While it is unknown how the diamond ended up at a flea market some 30 years ago, the fact that the woman kept it all this time and then stumbled upon its actual worth is nothing short of serendipity.