We’ve all gone to garage sales in search of a hidden bargain, some little-overlooked trinket that will make us an instant fortune. Sadly, most of the items we find at garage sales are just junk. However, for one lucky woman in the UK, her purchase at a boot sale (a form of a garage sale), turned out to be a very special surprise.
Over three decades ago, Debra Goddard picked up the ring by chance. All these years she believed that the stone in the ring was made of glass. She kept in buried in a jewelry box for years, not bringing it out until her elderly mother fell prey to fraud and lost all her money.
Debra took it to a jeweler, hoping that the ring would be worth at least a few hundred pounds. There, she recieved the shock of her life when she was told it was actually a 26.27-carat diamond.
Debra said, “When I went to the jeweler he nearly fainted and said, ‘Do you know what this is? It’s a diamond.’ I sat up all night looking at it, wondering what to do.”
Following her good fortune, she took the ring to Sotheby’s, a high-end auction house, where the diamond was confirmed to be legit, and its worth was calculated at a whopping £740,000. After paying various auction costs, Debra earned £470,000 from the final sale. A pretty decent windfall.
“It turned out to be the nearest you can get to perfection. It’s karma for the bad things that happened in our lives and my mum being robbed of everything.”
Debra, who works for a charity and has fostered over 20 kids through the years, has used her auction earnings to spoil her mom June Boyle, 72, with all kinds of gifts.
“She’s had holidays in Barbados, seen Tom Jones, seen Celine Dion in Vegas and bought a fur coat,” Debra says. “The money isn’t important to me.”
Since this lucky encounter, Debra has gone on to write a book, hoping to use any sales to further her charity work. She has also set up a vintage jewelry company that scours boot sales for other possible treasures.
She says, “I volunteer with a runaway kids’ charity. If this book makes money, I want it to go to them and youth leaders.”
A very good example for us all to remember to always pay it forward.