An Antiques Roadshow guest has been left stunned by the staggering value of a “stunning” diamond brooch that had been in her family for generations.
The guest had the brooch examined when the BBC show stopped at Brodie Castle in northern Scotland.
It featured dozens of dazzling, brilliant-cut diamonds set in white gold in a classic Art Deco pattern, with a yellow gold back.
Jewellery expert Susan Rumfitt, who presented the beautiful piece, said it “made her smile”.
“This is a magnificent brooch. I hope you wear it every day,” she said, to which the owner confirmed she wore it “in the evening” if she was “going out”.
“It’s come down through the family from my grandmother,” she added, when asked how she acquired the stunning piece of jewellery.
Ms Rumfitt, having examined the brooch, confirmed it was a genuine Art Deco piece dating to the 1930s.
“The brooch dates from the 1930s which is the height of the Art Deco period, which really and truly was about having a great time as far as fashion jewels, partying was concerned,” she explained.
“I can imagine your grandmother really having a wonderful time putting this brooch on … It’s got a sense of theatre about it, doesn’t it?”
Ms Rumfitt said the brooch was from a distinct moment in fashion history, with 1930s styles being “very similar to the ‘20s” but with less emphasis on coloured stones and more on diamonds.
“It is quite extraordinary, considering that in 1929 we had the Wall Street crash and the depression,” she said.
“One of the greatest designers who was behind the love of diamonds was (Coco) Chanel, of course, and she teamed up with (diamond miner) De Beers to promote the diamond industry. They basically were saying that diamonds are portable, you can show the greatest of worth in the smallest volumes … It’s no wonder so many people were turning to diamond jewellery if the likes of Chanel was saying this is the thing that you should do.”
The jewellery specialised explained the diamonds were “modern brilliant cut”, adding the brooch was “unusual” because it came in one piece rather than as two separate clip brooches, as was the style at the time.
Asked how many carats she believed the brooch to be, the guest estimated three. She was stunning to discover its weight was 14 carats.
“Oh my goodness,” she remarked, before becoming visibly emotional when Ms Rumfitt revealed its value — £20,000 (A$40,000).
“Oh my goodness,” the guest repeated.
“That’s taken my breath away. Oh crumbs. It brings tears to my eyes.”
She confirmed she “absolutely” will still wear the piece of jewellery, despite its unexpected price tag.
In an interview filmed after the piece’s value was revealed, the guest said it “really was a great surprise”.
“I’m still quaking a bit,” she laughed.