Yard sale ring bought for $13 actually worth half a million dollars

May 31, 2017 12:57 pm Last Updated: May 31, 2017 12:57 pm

Can you imagine? You are rummaging through some treasures at an outdoor market and you come across the perfect piece of costume jewelry that matches a dress you recently purchased. After scratching your head a bit thinking, “Geez, it’s $13, but it’s just the thing I’ve been looking for. Ok, I’ll buy it!”

You bring it home feeling satisfied with your purchase and wear the beautiful ring on your next evening out. People rave about what a beautiful little piece of jewelry you’ve got there, repeatedly.

Purchased for $13

So you’ve had your fun and when you get home, you toss the jewel in with where you keep your other accessories, bring it out to wear occasionally over the next a 35 years or so, and forget about it. One day, you take a glance at it with different eyes, wondering what seems so special about this ring compared to all the others. Out of curiosity, you bring it in to have it looked at and appraised by an expert.

Can we have a drumroll, please! That nice little ring you purchased at a London yard sale back in the 1980s is worth nearly a half-million dollars!

As it turns out, what you purchased for $13 is no ordinary piece of costume jewelry after all!

“This is an extremely rare find,” said Jessica Wyndham, who is the head of the Sotheby’s auction house’s jewelry department. “We’re used to people coming in with pieces from their personal collections but this was exceptional.”

This Oppenheimer Blue Diamond sold in 2016 for $57.5 million in 2016

 The ring, when initially purchased, had appeared to have lost some of its shine because it was mounted in a dark setting, a style of old, according to Wyndam.
“When we think of diamonds, we think of modern cuts, of brilliance,” explained Wyndham. “This wouldn’t have looked like that. The silver had tarnished and there was probably some dirt. These diamonds were made for candlelight, not our white artificial light, so it was all about trying to bring out its fire.”

A Hong Kong jeweler purchased this diamond in 2010 for $35.3 million

So there you go! That’s quite a return on your $13 initial investment! The current owner, who prefers to be anonymous, will have the cushion-shaped diamond set in a 19th-century mount and auctioned off. If you happen to be in the market, the ring will be sold on June 7, 2017 at Sotheby’s auction and is expected to sell somewhere in the range of $325,000 to $456,000. Or, maybe you’ll decide to go shopping at a yard sale that day.