A diamond bought for about 10 pounds at a “car boot”—the U.K. version of a garage sale or flea market—fetched £656,750 (about $847,000) at a Sotheby’s jewelry auction in London on June 7.
That topped its estimate of £250,000 to £350,000. The buyer was not disclosed.
The cushion-shaped 26.27-ct. I VVS2 diamond was first found at a car boot sale in the 1980s. When the prior owner bought it for £10, she thought it was a costume piece, because of its size and antique setting.
“The majority of us can’t even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large,” Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby’s London jewelry department, told the BBC.
But when the woman brought it to Sotheby’s, she was shocked to find out it was a natural stone. The auction house later sent it to GIA.
Wyndham said she did not know how such a valuable stone found its way to a car boot.
(Image courtesy of Sotheby’s)