Antiques Roadshow guest staggered by black opal brooch’s value
21st February 2023

Antiques Roadshow: Brooches valued at £40,000

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Joanna was presented with a bold hand-cut diamond brooch as well as an extremely rare black opal one in a classic episode of Antiques Roadshow. The guest revealed she had passed the striking pieces of jewellery onto her daughters and was eager to know how much they were worth. 

“When I opened the box and saw this opal, oh my gosh it is superb,” Joanna explained. “And then I opened this other box and saw this diamond.” 

The guest revealed the gorgeous opal brooch came from her husband’s family as his father went to Australia and brought it back to the UK many years ago. 

“I just have to say at the beginning I have given these away already to my daughter,” the guest said of the opal stone which was more than 100 million years old.

There was an actual inland sea called the Artisan Basin and when that receded it left soluble silica which hardened and solidified in cracks and voids. 

Two places in Australia where that is seen are Lightning Ridge and Coober Pedy. 

“But it is Lightning Ridge where you get what is called the black opal, but they are incredibly rare,” Joanna exclaimed. 

“When we say black opal it is because it’s got the dark background as opposed to other opals where you will have a whitish background.

“This is a fabulous example and it’s the complete colour of the rainbow.” 

Joanna was left in stitches when the guest told her she thought the diamond brooch was “hideous” as it was “completely unwearable”.

The guest thought the brooch was not worth much money as the diamonds had a yellow tint to them.

However, she was pleasantly surprised when Joanna valued it at an astonishing £35,000. 

“There has been more appreciation of stones that are not flawless,” Joanna said. 

“This, I can feel the hand of the cutter because it is not totally done by machine, it’s done by hand.”

She then revealed the opal brooch would fetch roughly £40,000 at auction which stunned the guest. 

“My daughter will be very pleased,” the guest explained following the valuation. 

“It’ll be her running away fund too,” she joked with Joanna. 

Joanna asked if it was the guest’s running away fund too which she cheekily replied: “Oh yes.”

The expert thanked her guest for bringing in the exceptional pieces and told her it “really has made my day”. 

“Thank you, I am glad you like them,” the guest gushed. 

Antiques Roadshow episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer. 

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