Ring Purchased At Garage Sale May Be Worth Roughly Half A Million Dollars

Shopping at garage sales can be hit or miss, but one lucky customer is cashing in on a major find.

Sothebys will auction off a sparkly cocktail ring a woman bought at a car boot sale in 1980s England next month with a starting bid of 250,000 (roughly $325,000). She had thought for decades that it was costume jewelry and wore it without a care in the world,revealed the owner,who declined to be named publicly, the auction house said this week.

The woman had purchased the piece for 10 at a garage sale at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth in west London, according to Sothebys. She decided in recent months to have the ring appraised after a jeweler said the stone could be real.

Sothebys Jewelry in London confirmed the stones authenticity a 19th century 26.27-carat, cushion-shaped white diamond. The auction house added that the stone has a color grade of I and an impressive clarity grade of VVS2. The ring could go for as much as 350,000 (about $450,000).

Before the owner knew the stone was real, she reportedly used it to wear it during casual occasions — even while doing chores.

We confirmed that it was indeed a diamond. We got it tested with the Gemological Institute of America … and that then dictated the price, said Sothebys Jessica Wyndham, who heads the auction houses jewelry department.

In the interview in the video above,Wyndham added that it was understandable the owner did not know the ring held a real diamond.

It was in an antique style mount, so it was quite heavy, she said. It is mounted in silver around the top and when silver becomes tarnished it becomes quite black.And that mixed with the cut of the stone probably would have meant that it didnt sparkle very much, and if it was all dirty, you just wouldnt think that was real.

The ring will hit auction on June 7.

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