'Antiques Roadshow': 'Good luck' turtle jewelry worth a small fortune

'Good Luck' Turtle Jewelry Worth Small Fortune
'Good Luck' Turtle Jewelry Worth Small Fortune

On "Antiques Roadshow" an appraiser told one woman her shiny, turtle-shaped brooch means good luck. And that fortune extended to its valuation.

The woman says she inherited the 1890 demantoid, diamond and ruby brooch from her grandmother, who got it from her ex-boyfriend in 1905.

The woman says she previously had the shining turtle jewelry appraised, but was told it was only worth about five grand. Turns out that original appraiser was way off.

Appraiser Peter Schaffer said, "You're talking about $12,000, $15,000 ... possibly even $18,000. It's really quite a wonderful thing."

That was the 2011 price tag. Now, it's worth up to $25,000.

So, why is it worth so much? Well, it turns out the part of the brooch that's green -- the demantoid -- was only really worn by the English and French, so it's actually a pretty rare find.

Schaffer said, "Demantoids have been sought after for decades. These are worth more than emeralds." In fact, one fine jewelry collector says the "Demantoid is among the most expensive of all garnets" with some of the better pieces worth as much as $10,000 per carat.

One gemstone expert says another reason demantoids are so valuable is because of their high dispersion, meaning: "When you look at these stones and they're diamond cut, you're going to see colors, rainbow colors."

As for the woman, she's not too eager to make a buck off the precious turtle just yet. She says she plans to keep the tradition going by handing the jewelry down to her own daughter.

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