Antiques Roadshow guest in tears over true value of ‘stunning’ diamond brooch

Publish Date
Tuesday, 22 August 2023, 3:41PM

A woman has been left shocked after realising the true value of a “stunning” diamond brooch that has been in her family for generations.

The Antiques Roadshow guest had the family heirloom examined during the BBC show’s visit to Brodie Castle in northern Scotland.

The brooch was decorated with dozens of dazzling, brilliant-cut diamonds set in white gold in an Art Deco style.

Watch the full clip above, and skip to 3 minutes for the reveal and her reaction.

Jewellery expert Susan Rumfitt, who examined the antique piece, said it “made her smile”.

“This is a magnificent brooch. I hope you wear it every day,” she said, to which the owner of the brooch replied that she wore it “in the evening” if she was “going out”.

“It’s come down through the family from my grandmother,” she revealed when questioned about how she came to own the stunning piece of jewellery.

Rumfitt, after inspecting the brooch, confirmed that it was a genuine Art Deco piece dating back to the 1930s.

“The brooch dates from the 1930s which is the height of the Art Deco period, which really and truly was about having a great time as far as fashion jewels, partying was concerned,” she explained.

Sign up for Coast's newsletter for exclusive prizes and to keep updated with the latest.

“I can imagine your grandmother really having a wonderful time putting this brooch on … It’s got a sense of theatre about it, doesn’t it?”

Rumfitt revealed that the jewelled piece was from a distinct time in fashion history, with 1930s styles being “very similar to the ‘20s” but emphasising coloured stones less and rather focusing on diamonds.

“It is quite extraordinary, considering that in 1929 we had the Wall Street crash and the depression,” she said.

“One of the greatest designers who was behind the love of diamonds was (Coco) Chanel, of course, and she teamed up with (diamond miner) De Beers to promote the diamond industry. They basically were saying that diamonds are portable, you can show the greatest of worth in the smallest volumes … It’s no wonder so many people were turning to diamond jewellery if the likes of Chanel was saying this is the thing that you should do.”

The brooch was a classic Art Deco piece. Photo / BBC

The expert further added that the diamonds were “modern brilliant cut” and the brooch was “unusual” because it was one piece as opposed to two separate clip brooches which was the typical 1930s style.

When asked how many carats she believed the brooch to be, the guest guessed around three. She was flabbergasted to find that its weight was 14 carats.

“Oh my goodness,” she said as Rumfitt revealed its actual value — £20,000 (NZ$43,000).

“Oh my goodness,” the guest repeated, as she started to become visibly emotional.

“That’s taken my breath away. Oh crumbs. It brings tears to my eyes.”

The guest assured the jewellery specialist that she would “absolutely” still wear the brooch, despite its whopping price tag.

After the piece’s value was revealed, the guest shared in an interview that it “really was a great surprise”.

“I’m still quaking a bit,” she giggled.


This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission. 

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you