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‘Worthless’ jewellery was really £70k of diamonds thanks to ultra-rare squiggle

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JEWELLERY destined for a charity shop was actually worth £70,000 thanks to an ultra-rare tiny squiggle.

Auctioneer Gareth Wasp, 35, from the Cooper and Tanner Sales Room in Standerwick, Somerset, realised that one was a Cartier, with a four-carat diamond, while the second held a sapphire.

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Jewellery destined for a charity shop was actually worth £70,000 thanks to an ultra-rare tiny squiggleCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
Gareth Wasp realised that one was a Cartier, while the second held a sapphire

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Gareth Wasp realised that one was a Cartier, while the second held a sapphireCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
The seller found them while clearing out her mother-in-law's home

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The seller found them while clearing out her mother-in-law’s homeCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

The seller, who did not want to be named, found them while clearing out her mother-in-law’s home.

Gareth, who had looked through the box when asked by the owner, described finding the Cartier signature on the outside of the ring.

He said: “If I hadn’t had been on the ball that day the rings would have ended up in the charity shop for someone lucky enough to find them.

“I noticed the Cartier box straight away. But that doesn’t always mean there is going to be a Cartier ring inside.

“I looked everywhere for the Cartier signature on the ring because it is normally on the inside, but this was in fact signed on the outside, which is really rare.

“Then I had a look at this great big diamond in front of me.

“Meanwhile, the lady, who seemed like she didn’t have the best of relationships with her mother-in-law, kept saying she was really keen to get rid of it.

“She kept repeatedly emphasising to me to get rid of it and give it to charity – thinking they weren’t worth anything.

“I just had to say ‘I think this is something that needs a little bit more research’.”

Gareth then came to the second ring which had a sapphire stone in the centre of it.

He added: “It was beautiful, absolutely stunning and very popular. Behind diamonds they are second in place.”

Gareth got the rings professionally valued and found they were worth between £15,000 and £20,000.

After inspection, the Cartier ring also revealed that it was VS1 category for clarity, which means it is nearly perfect, with only tiny blemishes.

The Cartier ring sold at auction for £42,000 and the sapphire ring fetched for £28,000 with an additional commission charge of fifteen per cent plus VAT.

After the successful sale Gareth rang the vendor straight away to tell her the good news.

Gareth said: “The strange thing is she didn’t have a clue, I said the rings have just sold and she said ‘oh brilliant’ what have they made. She was miles away.

“And when I told her she couldn’t believe it, she was absolutely gobsmacked.

“It was great for her and it was a great feeling to be able to deliver that – often it’s the other way round and people over-value things.

“This happens very rarely and to happen with two rings – I would have been happy with one of them!”

Gareth has been involved with the auction business since the age of 14 and has been a professional auctioneer for the past eight years.

He added: “This has been the highlight of my career, it has been absolutely amazing.

“It was a great experience and the Sapphire ring was bought by a room buyer for his wife, which I find really nice.

“Maybe if people looked in their collection, they would be lucky enough to find a hidden gem as well.”

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The sapphire ring which Gareth spotted before it was sent to a charity shop

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The sapphire ring which Gareth spotted before it was sent to a charity shopCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
Gareth described finding the Cartier signature on the outside of the ring

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Gareth described finding the Cartier signature on the outside of the ringCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

How to tell if a diamond is real at home

Using a few household items, it is possible to determine whether your diamond is real or not.

Water Test

Drop a loose diamond into a pint glass full of water.

If it floats at the surface or just underneath, it’s likely a fake.

Look For Metal Markings

Inspect the metal for markings that indicate the type of gold or platinum used.

A real diamond is going to be set in high quality metals.

Fog Test

Breathe on your diamond with a puff of air.

Diamonds conduct heat so the fog should dissipate immediately if the diamond is real.

UV Light Test

Most diamonds emit a blue-colored glow under UV light.

The Dot Test Using Refractivity

When a diamond has a radiant sparkle, this is referred to as brilliance.

Simulated diamonds do not refract light well.

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