It's been 35 years since the charity worker Debra Goddard, now 55, bought a ring at a flea market. The piece of jewelry encrusted with "glass" cost the woman $12. Goddard had kept the ring in a box until she went to a pawn shop due to her mother's financial difficulties. What was her surprise when the jeweler said that the ring was encrusted with a 26.27-carat diamond!
The ring cost only $12. It would have stayed in the box if Debra's mother hadn't lost all her money due to her relative's scam. Goddard asked the jeweler to assess the ring dreaming of getting $800. However, the expert said her that the ring cost much more.
"When I went to the jeweler, he was about to faint and murmured: 'Do you know WHAT that is? It's a diamond.' I spent the whole night staring at the ring and wondering what I should do," the charity worker said. The woman contacted Sotheby's where the authenticity of the stone was proven. The sale of the ring brought the family a whopping $500,000.
Debra still lives in a council house in a western suburb of London, but now generously pampers her 72-year-old mother June Boyle. "She has gone on vacation to Barbados, seen Tom Jones and Celine Dion in Vegas and bought a fur coat. Money is not important to me," the lucky woman says.
"It makes up for all the misfortunes we've had in our lives, for my mother being deprived of everything."
Goddard has set up a business that specializes in the search for valuable items at flea markets and has also written a book about her life. The woman promises to donate all the revenue from the book sales to a children's charity.
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