Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Digital Cover film

Antiques Roadshow expert stunned over 'never seen before' item with huge valuation

John prompted gasps from the crowd as he shared details about the item

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 20, 2024
Share this:

Antiques Roadshow expert John Benjamin was left stunned by a rare item brought onto the show during a recent episode. The jewellery historian joined host Fiona Bruce at the historic Buckfast Abbey in Devon, where a range of incredible treasures were on display, from a tankard dating back to 1703 to a piece of shrapnel from a World War Two battleship. 

John was amazed when a very special 18th-century item was presented by a guest, who had no information about the treasure. 

WATCH: Antiques Roadshow expert stunned over 'never seen before' item with huge evaluation

"I have been doing the Roadshow now for 26 seasons, it's a privilege... and do you know something? I have never in all that time seen anything like this before," he said, before asking the guest if she knew what the item was.

Antiques Roadshow ring box© BBC
Expert John Benjamin was presented with a ring box

"Nope," she confirmed. Quizzing her about how she came to possess the item, John said: "I know what it is but I'm not going to tell you what it is until I discuss a little bit more about it. Is it yours? What's the story behind it?"

"It belongs to a friend who is too poorly to come today so he asked me to bring it for him," the guest explained. "He brought it about 25 years ago in an auction in a lot."

Pointing to the pink gem in the middle of the item, John explained: "The piece here, that segment there, is a piece of coral. 

Antiques Roadshow ring box© BBC
John revealed that the 18th-century item would have been made for a member of court

"Now, I have to be honest with you, I get a little bit funny about coral. I don't like the trading of coral that's going on, but I feel comfortable with this piece because it is 300 years old," he explained, before revealing that the item is a box that was made around 1720. 

"In the middle, you have a ruby," he continued. "The ruby is what we term collet set, so it has a setting that goes all the way around it and the yellow metal that surrounds the ruby is gold. 

"It gets better!" he exclaimed, before explaining that the coronet above the ruby suggests that the box would have been made for a member of the court. 

Antiques Roadshow expert John Benjamin and guest© BBC
The guest was left stunned by the huge valuation

Opening the item, he revealed that it was a ring box. "But I have never seen a ring box of such quality as this one, and rarity, and singularity of materials that are set in it," he said, before sharing his evaluation. 

"I think it's worth £4,000 to 5,000," he revealed, prompting gasps from the crowd. 

The guest was clearly stunned by the huge valuation. "Wow," she said, adding" Amazing. Fabulous."

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More TV and Film

See more