Shocked pensioner discovers diamond she ‘almost threw in the BIN’ during a home clearance is 34-CARAT stone worth £2MILLION
- Northumberland woman in her 70s kept the diamond in box with other jewellery
- While clearing out her home, she took it along with other jewellery to be valued
- Featonby’s Auctioneers sent the diamond off and found it was a 34-carat stone
- It will now go up for auction on November 30 valued at £2 million
A shocked pensioner has discovered that a diamond she ‘almost threw in a bin’ while clearing out her home is a 34-carat stone worth £2 million.
The Northumberland woman in her 70s took the diamond to be valued along with costume jewellery she had bought at car boot sales over many years.
Auctioneer Mark Lane said that when he learned of the diamond’s true value, it was a ‘huge shock’, according to the BBC.
A shocked pensioner has discovered that a diamond (pictured right next to a pound coin) she ‘almost threw in a bin’ while clearing out her home is a 34-carat stone worth £2 million
The stone, which is larger than a pound coin, is currently being stored at Hatton Garden in London before going up for sale next month.
‘The lady came in with a bag of jewellery as she just thought she would bring it in as she was passing because she had another appointment in the town,’ said Mr Lane, of Featonby’s Auctioneers in North Shields, North Tyneside.
He said that the stone had been in kept in a box along with the woman’s wedding bands and other low-value pieces of costume jewellery.
‘We saw quite a large stone, bigger than a pound coin, and I thought it was a CZ [cubic zirconia, a synthetic diamond lookalike]. It sat on my desk for two or three days until I used a diamond tester machine.
‘We then sent it off to our partners in London before it was certified by experts in Antwerp, Belgium, who said it was 34.19 carat colour HVS1, which is extremely rare.’
A diamond’s carat measurement is based on the weight of the stone, with heavier diamonds having a higher carat, and therefore higher value.
The auctioneer said that the woman wanted to remain anonymous. She did not know where she acquired the diamond, but told him that she always visited car boot sales and bought trinkets.
He said she had no idea that the stone was a real diamond, however.
The Northumberland woman in her 70s took the diamond to be valued along with costume jewellery she had bought at car boot sales over many years, and was told that it is worth up to £2 million. The stone will go up for auction on November 30.
‘She told us she’d been having a clearout and that it nearly went in the bin before her neighbour suggested bringing her items to us to get valued.’
Mr Lane said that the diamond was by far the largest-value item he had handled since he bought the business from its previous owners five years ago.
‘The colour, the clarity, the size… to find a 34-carat diamond is off the scale,’ he told the BBC.
Mr Lane added: ‘I was in shock when I was told how much it was worth. It was an out of body experience, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It’s crazy how it all happened.
‘We get everything from jewellery, to fine art, and furniture. I’ve seen everything across the board but nothing of that magnitude in the five years I’ve been here.’
The diamond is being kept safe at London’s Hatton Garden jewellery quarter until it goes up for auction on November 30.
Hatton Garden, already famous for its high-end jewellery shops, hit the headlines in 2015 when six elderly men – all experienced thieves – raided a safe deposit facility and burgled up to £14 million worth of cash and other goods.