‘To find a 34-carat diamond is off the scale,’ auctioneer says
A pensioner is set for a £2m windfall after discovering a diamond the size of a pound coin – in her own home.
The woman in her seventies, who 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 the stone to an auctioneer to see how much it might be worth. It was then confirmed that it is a legitimate 34 carat stone and is worth £2m.
The woman said she cannot remember where she 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.
“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.
Experts then confirmed that the diamond is a legitimate 34 carat stone, worth £2m. Carat is the metric used to measure the weight of diamonds.
One carat is equivalent to roughly 0.00lb. A 34 carat stone is the same as 0.01 pounds and the heavier the diamond the more it is worth.
Mr Lane said the diamond was easily the biggest-value item he’s 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 on auction on 30 November.