A diamond ring bought at a car boot sale in the 1980s led Sotheby’s impressive Fine Jewels auction on 7 June, selling for almost three quarters of a million pounds. The stunning ring made headlines when it was revealed to have been purchased for just £10.
Due to the size and cut, the ring was believed by its owner to be decorative costume jewellery, but was confirmed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as a genuine diamond. It reached £656,750 at auction.
The final sale was well above the estimates, which put the newly discovered cushion-shaped diamond at £250,000-350,000.
Another highlight of the sale was a Cartier diamond brooch worn by Margaret Thatcher on a number of high-profile public occasions, including the day she offered her resignation as Prime Minister to the queen.
With its unique geometric chevron design, the brooch piqued the interest of buyers to achieve £81,250 (est. £25,000-35,000), proceeds of which will be donated to the Endeavour fund - a charity that supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
Jessica Wyndham, Sotheby’s Head of London Jewellery Department, said: “It was a thrill to bring the hammer down on two objects which have been the subject of so much interest and attention over the last few weeks and to see that attention translate into such strong bidding competition. Both were exciting punctuation points in a sale where the huge variety of material on offer was matched by a broad mix of collectors internationally- driving prices well above estimate on so many occasions.”
Other highlights included a mid 19th Century ruby and diamond necklace, which reached £68,750.
And a sapphire and diamond ring from the late 19th Century, which sold for £150,000.