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ANTIQUES Roadshow expert Joanna Hardy was left stunned after a brooch she mistook for 'costume jewellery' turned out to be worth £20,000.
The BBC show is famed for sharing wonderful and intriguing tales behind antiques, but nobody expected one guest's brooch to be worth as much as it was.
Joanna was speechless as she came across a sparkling brooch that at first glance she assumed was nothing more than some dazzling costume jewellery.
On a closer look, Joanna discovered the brooch was actually coated in real diamonds.
Speaking to the brooch's owner, Joanna said: "When you came to my table and showed me this, I was about to say, 'That's really lovely but it's costume jewellery.'
"Then I looked at it and thought, 'Oh my goodness, it's not costume jewellery because they're all diamonds!'"
The owner of the brooch went on to explain that she inherited it after it was won in a competition.
She said: "I inherited it. My partner was a jeweller in Hatton Garden and there was a competition, if you look like a Duchess, and this was the prize. He made six in silver.
"However unbeknown to everyone else, he made a real one in his garage in platinum and diamonds."
Expert Joanna went on to reveal a bit more about the history of the brooches.
She told how the original brooch, which the competition was based on, sold at an auction for just over $600,000 (£449k) to Elizabeth Taylor in 1988.
Joanna recalled: "When Elizabeth Taylor died, the brooch went for $1.3million (974k).
"I saw that brooch when it was at the Elizabeth Taylor sale and I didn't think it was very good, the quality, to be honest, and I turned over this and it is fantastic craftsmanship – so much better than the original, it's superb."
Speaking of her partner's craftsmen talent, the brooch's owner said: "He always told me he was good."
The guest was then left stunned when Joanna revealed a brooch like hers would cost around £20,000 to make today.
Joanna said: "
If you asked a goldsmith today to make something like that, I would say you're looking in the region of £20,000.
"There are very few craftsmen today that can make something as beautiful as this."
However, the owner explained that it brings her too much joy and fond memories of her husband to depart with and will be keeping it in the family.
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