$8 Garage Sale Brooch to be Auctioned for $20,000 to $30,000 | It Could Happen to You!

Bonhams Auction Update: $8 Garage Sale Brooch Fetched $26,250. Read about it here>>
Here’s a modern-day fairytale for jewelry lovers. Once upon a time (several years ago), in Ohio, a “vintage bejeweled brooch” was purchased at a garage sale for $8. The owner gave the brooch to her daughter for her to wear to church. On a chance visit to a jewelry store, the daughter shared the story of how she acquired it, and the jeweler told her he didn’t think it was costume jewelry. The $8 garage sale brooch turned out to be a circa 1900 antique with genuine diamonds, a ruby and an emerald.

Diamond, Emerald and Ruby Brooch to be sold at Bonhams on September 19
Diamond, Emerald and Ruby Brooch to be sold at Bonhams on September 19.
Photo courtesy of bonhams.com.

Enter Bonhams

Bonhams auction house was consulted and their jewelry experts sent the stones from the brooch to the GIA. According to National Jeweler: “Bonhams had it tested by the Gemological Institute of America, which confirmed the stones were gem quality. The brooch features an old mine-cut diamond, D color, VS1 clarity, weighing 1.39 carats; a rectangular-shaped emerald originating from Colombia, weighing approximately 1.50 carats; and an oval-shaped Burmese ruby, weighing approximately 0.60 carat.”

Consigned to Bonhams, the brooch was given a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It will come up for auction on September 19, and OBJ will bring you the results.


Sotheby's Jewelry Auction
Sotheby’s Jewelry Auction. Photo Courtesy of Sothebys.com

But Wait, There’s More…

Antique Diamond Ring Found at a Car Boot Sale
Antique Diamond Ring Found at a Car Boot Sale. Photo courtesy of nationaljeweler.com.

This kind of once-in-a-lifetime discovery actually happened twice in the last year alone. In June, Sotheby’s London auctioned off a diamond ring which was purchased by the consignee in the 1980s at a “car boot sale” (where people sell items from the trunks of their cars). Assumed for decades to be a fake diamond, it was in fact a 19th century 26.27-carat cushion-shaped white diamond of I color and VVS2 clarity.

It sold for $847,667!

You Never Know

Could this kind of outrageous fortune ever happen to you? Well, we’ve all watched enough episodes of Antiques Roadshow to know the answer to that question. Keep shopping in vintage stores, at flea markets, garage and estate sales…for the love of jewelry and the thrill of the hunt.

Sources: nationaljeweler.com; bonhams.com; sothebys.com


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