It was a true diamond in the rough.
A UK woman nearly missed the windfall of a lifetime after almost tossing a near $3 million diamond because she thought it was fake.
The 70-year-old owner, who’s opted to remain anonymous, found the pound coin-sized diamond while cleaning out her home in Northumberland. And while the senior couldn’t recall where or when she procured it, the pack rat reportedly frequently “bought trinkets” at garage sales.
“She’s always visited car boot sales and bought trinkets,” auctioneer Mark Lane from Featonby’s Auctioneers in North Shields told BBC of the fortuitous find. “But never once did she think it was a real diamond.”
The pensioner mistook the bauble for a knockoff as it had “been in a box along with her wedding band and a number of low-value costume jewelry,” said Lane. She was about to put the ritzy rock “in the bin,” when a neighbor suggested taking the items to Lane’s company to get appraised.The auction house had never dealt with a diamond like it before.Featonby’s Auctioneers
The auctioneer initially thought the “large stone” was comprised of cubic zirconia — a synthetic stone often used to imitate diamonds — so he kept it on his desk for several days, BBC reported.
Thankfully, Lane eventually put the stone through a Diamond Tester, and then sent it to Featonby’s London-based partners. The stealthy wealth-bringer was later certified by experts in Antwerp, Belgium, who confirmed it was 34 carats – making it the largest-value item the appraiser had ever received.
“The colour, the clarity, the size… to find a 34-carat diamond is off the scale,” gushed Lane of the diamond, which has been valued at approximately $2,741,520.
The diamond is being stored at London’s Hatton Garden jewelry quarter, where it will stay until it goes to auction on Nov. 30.
In another riches near-miss in May, a Massachusetts woman nearly tossed a lottery ticket worth $1 million — but an honest convenience store owner made sure she got her payday.