This woman’s $15 “costume jewelry” ended up being worth A LOT more than that

In today’s edition of “why the heck can’t this happen to me???” a woman’s $15 “costume jewelry” ended up being worth a lot more than that. What do we mean by “a lot,” you ask? The answer is a cool $450,000. (Yes, really.) Thirty years ago, the unnamed woman paid $15 for a ring at a flea market in West London. Believing it was indeed costume jewelry, she wore the large stone for years — even when she was doing chores and running errands.

After a jeweler told the woman her ring may be valuable, she took it to Sotheby’s to see just how much it was worth.

Imagine her surprise when the answer was nearly half a million dollars.

The ring’s 19th century stone was not cut to show off its shine, so the owner had no idea it was so valuable.

"With an old style of cutting ... the light doesn't reflect back as much as it would from a modern stone cutting. Cutters worked more with the natural shape of the crystal, to conserve as much weight rather than make it as brilliant as possible," says Jessica Wyndham, the head of the Sotheby's London jewelry department.

The diamond was tested at the Gemological Institute of America, but it remains unclear how it ended up at a flea market with a $15 price tag. The 26.27 carat white diamond ring will be auctioned off on June 7th — so if you have half a million bucks to spare, there’s no time like the present to visit London.

Filed Under