Pensioner discovers diamond ‘bought in car boot’ is worth £2m

‘To find a 34-carat diamond is off the scale,’ auctioneer says

Matt Mathers
Friday 29 October 2021 21:15 BST
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A pensioner is set for a £2m windfall after discovering a diamond the size of a pound coin in her own home.

The woman, who is in her seventies and wants to remain anonymous, had been clearing out her house in Northumberland when she came across what she thought was a costume jewellery stone.

She then took it to an auctioneer to see how much it might be worth, only to find that it was a real diamond and that it was worth £2m.

The woman said she could not remember where she had bought the diamond, but thinks she could have picked it up at a car boot sale.

“The lady came in with a bag of jewellery as she just thought she would bring it in as she was passing because she had another appointment in the town,” Mark Lane, of Featonby’s Auctioneers in North Shield, North Tyneside told the BBC.

The diamond was found to be a 34-carat stone (Featonbys Auctioneers')

“It had been in a box along with her wedding band and a number of low-value costume jewellery items.

“We saw quite a large stone, bigger than a pound coin, and I thought it was a CZ [cubic zirconia, a synthetic diamond lookalike]. It sat on my desk for two or three days until I used a diamond-tester machine.”

Mr Lane said the precious gem was sent to the company’s partners in London, who referred it to experts in Antwerp, Belgium.

It was then confirmed that the diamond was a legitimate 34-carat stone, worth £2m. Carat is the metric used to measure the weight of diamonds.

The stone is up for auction on 30 November (Featonby's Auctioneers)

One carat is equivalent to roughly 0.00lb. A 34-carat stone is the same as 0.01lb, and the heavier the diamond the more it is worth.

Mr Lane said the diamond was easily the biggest-value item he’d dealt with in five years working for Featonby’s.

He said the woman couldn’t recall where she’d initially picked up the stone, but he added: “She’s always visited car boot sales and bought trinkets, but never once did she think it was a real diamond.

“The colour, the clarity, the size... to find a 34-carat diamond is off the scale.”

The diamond is being stored in London’s Hatton Garden jewellery quarter until it is put up for auction on 30 November.

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