Antiques Roadshow expert stunned by value of Victorian ring that transforms into a bracelet

Antiques Roadshow BBC
-Credit: (Image: (Image: BBC))

In a captivating episode from the BBC's Antiques Roadshow archives, viewers were whisked away to Mansion House, where individuals presented their treasured possessions for appraisal. Hugh Scully was particularly taken aback by an extraordinary ring that a woman had received for her 21st birthday from her step-grandfather.

When asked if it was a family heirloom, she clarified: "Going back probably only to the 1900s. It belonged to my step-grandfather." Upon examining the jewellery, the expert drew attention to the design of the ring's head, which bore resemblance to a box.

He remarked: "What a pretty garnet in the middle there isn't it? That purple colour garnet. Looks a bit like a ruby, but I think, looking at this purple colour, it's going to be a garnet in a surround of tiny diamonds that form almost like a star," reports the Express.

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Hugh also noted the sky-blue enamel encircling the central purple stone, pointing out that such a combination of stones and colours was favoured during the Victorian era.

Yet, Hugh identified an unconventional feature of the ring that might escape the notice of many. Revealing the unique aspect, he demonstrated: "The whole thing is like a concertina. Instead of just having a ring, it's a lady's bracelet."

Expressing his admiration, the Antiques Roadshow expert enthused: "I mean it's beautiful as a ring but as a bracelet it is a dimension that is just fantastic really! They used to do this in the Victorian period."

The woman, unsure of the ring's exact date, speculated it was from the early Victorian era, around 1840. The expert concurred, stating: "1845 to about 1850 would be about the latest I would put on it, it's very much 1840s, it's very pretty jewellery I have to say. It sounds an odd thing to say but jewellery of that period was very feminine."

In this episode, which first aired in 2002, Hugh informed the lady of the ring's marketability, despite her apparent reluctance to sell due to its sentimental value. Nonetheless, he proceeded to appraise the ring, suggesting: "I think such a ring like that, because of its features you can do so many things with it."

"It means that buyers would be very excited to see one like this, I think in auction £1000 to £1,500 I think." The owner was visibly pleased with Hugh's valuation.