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Surprise! It’s Worth More Than You Could Imagine


Every once in a while, we appraise a diamond, gemstone, or jewelry that is worth way more than our client thought. To be honest, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does it makes for one heck of a story. If you enjoy the Antique Roadshow, you’re going to love this article. We are going to take you through some of the most fantastic surprises in appraisal history.


The Royal Brooch

Thea Jourdan bought a brooch at a local junk shop for $28 and gave it to her four-year-old daughter, who loved to play dress-up. Her daughter wore the brooch many times, pretending that she was a royal princess; little did Jourdan and her daughter realize that the brooch was actually a piece of early-19th-century jewelry, likely to have been part of a Russian Czarina's tiara or royal necklace. The 20-carat topaz stone was estimated to be worth around $5,513.


The Deep Sea Watch

In 2015, a watch collector walked into a Goodwill in Phoenix and came across a watch he suspected might be worth more than the $6 he paid for it. It turned out he was right. The watch was made in 1959 and was one of the first-ever to include an alarm specifically for divers. He shared his find on Facebook and was able to sell it for a $35,000. How’s that for a return on investment?


The $15 ‘Costume Jewelry’ Ring

In 2015, a watch collector walked into a Goodwill in Phoenix and came across a watch he suspected might be worth more than the $6 he paid for it. It turned out he was right. The watch was made in 1959 and was one of the first-ever to include an alarm specifically for divers. He shared his find on Facebook and was able to sell it for a $35,000. How’s that for a return on investment?


The Faberge Egg

In the early 2000s, a man purchased a jewel-encrusted gold egg housing a watch from a midwestern flea market. At the time, he paid $13,300 for the Egg. Randomly, the man stumbled across an article titled “Is this 20 million Euro nest-egg on your mantelpiece?” The article was referring to a one of 54 Faberge eggs that were owned by a Royal Russian Family and had been lost since 1922. A photograph of the missing egg had survived and was used in the article. Astonished, the man went to Google and did more research. Sure enough, he was the lucky owner of the missing Faberge Egg. It was sold privately for millions and is likely the most expensive time piece on Earth.


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The phrase ‘hidden gems’ exists for a reason. Don’t these stories make you want to go through your collection and see if you have any? At SAZ, we can’t promise that your piece will be the next Faberge Egg, but we can promise that we can help you figure out what it is and how much it’s worth!

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