A diamond ring originally purchased for $13 was recently sold at a Sotheby’s Fine Jewels auction in London for an astonishing $848,000, CNN reported last week.
The auction house had initially pegged the ring’s value at $325,000, eventually selling it for over double the amount.
According to the report, the original owner had purchased the 26-carat ring in the 1980s at a car boot sale, believing it was merely a fancy piece of costume jewelry.
The shocking realization of the ring’s true value came almost two decades later, when the owner had the ring appraised by a local jeweler. The latter thought he would be humoring his client, but to their mutual surprise, the bauble turned out to be a cushion-shaped diamond set in a 19th century-style silver mount.
After realizing the trinket was, in fact, a treasure, the owner took it to Sotheby’s for an appraisal, where it was valued for $325,000.
Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby’s jewelry department, told CNN it was the ring’s cut and setting that made it unique and highly valuable, as neither are common today.
“When we think of diamonds, we think of modern cuts, of brilliance. These diamonds were made for candlelight, not our white artificial light, so it was all about trying to bring out their fire,” she explained.
While Sotheby’s did not disclose the identity of the buyer, they said the ring was purchased as international trade within the industry, and not by a private collector.