Antiques Roadshow guest ‘terrified’ as expert gives necklace 5-figure valuation

An Antiques Roadshow guest was terrified when a jewellery expert gave her grandmother's opal necklace a huge valuation.

The woman brought along a wedding photo of her grandparents to a recent BBC episode, which was based in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.

She told expert Susan Rumfitt that despite her love of opals, she felt nervous to wear the necklace because she didn't want to leave any scratches to the exquisite gem stone.

"My grandfather is from Fife, my grandmother is Australian, she's an international tennis player but they actually got married not far from her in Edinburgh," the woman explained.

"My grandfather might have been given the opal by her father before they left Australia."

Susan noticed the jewellery box was marked with the name "James Aitchison", a court jeweller in Edinburgh.

"The reason you think that he purchased it in Edinburgh is because of the box indicating an Edinburgh jeweller but the box isn't exactly fitting the pendant correctly," the expert noted.

She agreed that the guest's grandfather might have taken the opal and had it fitted into a necklace in Edinburgh, adding: "Opals do come from Australia, they are highly sought after and particularly this colour of opal, which is referred to as a 'black opal'."

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  • The guest said she particularly liked the back of the opal because it had an almost "peacock feather-like" deep blue and green colour.

    Susan then shared her knowledge on the gem market, saying: "The market is quite extraordinary for opals because there is a shortage out there anyway at this particular time.

    "And the market for Edwardian jewellery is doing extremely well too and I think the jewellery has become much more appreciated in a particular stone.

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    "So value wise, if it were to come up, in my opinion, in the current market, I would put £20,000 on it."

    The woman got emotional as she told Susan: "Yeah that's slightly terrifying."

    Susan smiled and reassured her "not to worry about the value" and suggested she should wear the necklace.

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