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‘Worthless’ rings destined for charity shop are £70,000 hidden treasures

Precious: Gareth
Wasp spotted a
Cartier diamond
ring (pictured) and
a sapphire ring
among goods the
seller thought
should be given away
PICTURES: SWNS

A PAIR of rings the owner thought were so worthless they ought to be given to a charity shop have sold for £70,000.

Auctioneer Gareth Wasp, 35, spotted a four carat diamond Cartier ring and a blue sapphire ring among other ‘average’ items brought in by a woman selling her late mother-in-law’s effects.

Mr Wasp, who works for Cooper and Tanner in Standerwick, Somerset, said: ‘The lady kept telling me to get rid of it and give it to charity — thinking they weren’t worth anything.

‘I told her: “I think this needs a bit more research.”’

Mr Wasp said he noticed the Cartier box straight away and found himself looking at a ‘great big diamond’.

‘I looked everywhere for the Cartier signature on the ring because it is normally on the inside, but this was in fact signed on the outside, which is really rare,’ he said.

Next he spotted the ‘stunning’ sapphire ring and insisted they be professionally valued.

Mr Wasp said the sale of the Cartier ring for £42,000 and the sapphire ring for £28,000 was the highlight of his career — especially as he got to pass on the good news.

‘The strange thing is she didn’t have a clue,’ the auctioneer said. ‘I told her the rings had just sold and she said: “Oh brilliant. What have they made?” When I told her she couldn’t believe it. She was absolutely gobsmacked.’