Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked as shes told sapphire ring changed history

A guest on Antiques Roadshow was thrilled when she brought in a heavy and "uncomfortable" ring barely worn by her family – only for it to be worth a dazzling sum.

In Sunday's repeat episode (August 29) of the BBC One show, a woman brought in an unusual sapphire ring that immediately sparked the interest of expert Joanna Hardy.

The owner said she inherited the ring from her mum who received it as a 25th wedding anniversary present in 1974.

"The ring she didn't really wear because it was quite a big, heavy ring," she explained.

"And I think it was more for occasions and so on and she always thought of it, to be honest, a little bit uncomfortable because it's so big, you knock everybody with it."

Joanna admitted the ring was very special because it "changed the history of modern contemporary jewellery".

She said: "My eye suddenly went on this one.

"When I opened the box, my heart jumped, because this is – as we see in the lining of the box – it's a John Donald."

She said: "Now he was such an important person in the 1960s.

"After the Second World War and the austerity years, jewellery design was pretty grim.

"There was nothing innovative and John Donald was one of the first pioneering designers of Goldsmiths, and he revolutionised jewellery and jewellery design."

Joanna then asked the guest for her opinion, and she said she loved the "teardrop" design and "deep blue" of the sapphire.

The expert then pointed out the "intricate work" around the sides and described the ring as a unique "3D sculpture".

She admitted she did "really love" the ring and estimated it would be worth between £5,000 and £7,000 at auction – leaving the guest stunned.

"Right," she said in disbelief. "I'll keep that safe! Wow."

Joanna, still very taken with the ring, told her: "You're the custodian of a jewel that really changed the history of modern contemporary jewellery in the UK."

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