Antiques Roadshow guest’s “worthless” brooch holds huge hidden value

The BBC One show guest had previously been told that the sapphire brooch was "worthless".

Antiques Roadshow

Antiques Roadshow has seen a number of guests bring on what they thought was worthless junk and sometimes, they’ll be proven right.


However, one woman left the BBC One show astonished after a piece of costume jewellery was valued at up to £50,000.

In a repeat episode from March 2019 that aired on Sunday, the guest brought in her supposedly “worthless” sapphire brooch, which was known amongst her family as the “big blue blob” and had been previously confirmed as fake costume jewellery by other experts.

“They were quite rude to me and my husband,” she said, talking about previous valuations. “Some people said it was paste, some people said they weren’t real diamonds, some people said they were real diamonds but they weren’t good quality.”

“I inherited it from my grandmother, who gave it to my father, who gave it to me to wear on my wedding day, which I did – something blue,” she told the programme.

Upon examining the brooch, expert John Benjamin soon revealed that the brooch was “of significant consequence” as the stone within it was “an absolutely enormous sapphire”.

He said that in the world of gemstones, the sapphire was quite big and that it dated back to the 19th century, adding that the evaluators who previously told her it was fake were “talking absolute rubbish”.

“Now I have to be honest with you, I’ve done this show for so long I’ve never seen a sapphire of this size brought into the Antiques Roadshow, this is a real first time for me,” he told the guest.

The sapphire brooch on Antiques Roadshow
The sapphire brooch on Antiques Roadshow

“If I were to take such an item of jewellery and consign it to an auction, I would expect it to make between £40,000 to £50,000,” he added, causing the crowd to applause.

The brooch’s visibly shocked owner remarked: “I don’t want to swear. Blooming heck!”

“Blooming heck indeed, it’s an absolute beauty. What else can I say about it? It’s fabulous,” John said.

The long-running series, presented by Fiona Bruce, has seen a variety of high-value items over the years, with the most expensive being a £1 million Fabergé flower which appeared on the show in 2017.

Antiques Roadshow confirmed earlier this month that applications for its socially-distanced summer series were now open. You can apply via their website.


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