Four-year-old’s £20 plaything turns out to be £4k gem

Mum paid just £20 for exclusive brooch that her daughter's been using for dress-ups.

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A mum has found out that her 4-year-old daughter’s favourite “junk shop brooch” is actually worth £3,000 to £4,000. 

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The royal gem, which is an orangey-pink stone surrounded by diamonds, will go on sale at Bonhams fine jewellery sale in London. The trinket will have a guide price of £3,000 to £4,000 and could possibly be sold for more.

Mum Thea Jourdan bought the brooch five years ago at a vintage bookshop in London for £20.

Before forgetting all about it, Thea’s little girl Imogen was invited to a fancy dress party and decided to wear it with her dress. Since then, Imogen loves wearing the gem in her hair and where ever she goes.

“What scares me is that Imogen’s insistence on wearing it on the most inappropriate occasions – to the post office, at the school play – means she could easily have lost it countless times,” said Thea. “Worse, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.”

A trip to the local jewellers led to the first revelation. Thea had decided to get her engagement ring valued for insurance purposes, when the brooch caught the jeweller’s attention. Thea was told that the 27 clear stones were real diamonds.

Stunned Thea then emailed a photo of the brooch to the jewellery department at Bonhams.

“To my surprise, I got an instant reply, asking me to bring it in for an evaluation…it was estimated at being worth between £1,500 and £2,000 – 100 times what I had paid for it,” said Thea.

“The stone was near flawless topaz weighing 20 carats. And the colour was the most desirable for a topaz – a rare pink known as Imperial, which was once exclusively preserved for Russian royalty,” she explained. Thea’s brooch was re-valued at £3,000 to £4,000.

Check the toy box mums! You never know…

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