GUEST: It belonged to my great-great-grandmother.
I don't think it was an engagement ring, because I think back in those days-- and she died in 1912-- that they weren't given engagement rings.
I've seen-- I have a portrait of her, and she has her wedding ring on, but this ring is not there.
APPRAISER: So what we have here is a platinum, diamond, and sapphire ring.
I would characterize it to be from the Edwardian period.
APPRAISER: So that's, I would say, in this instance, knowing that your great-great-grandmother passed away in 1912, my guess is, this, this was purchased right around 1900, around the turn of the century.
APPRAISER: We have a beautiful platinum setting characterized by millegrain accents, which are the fine little platinum dots that give the setting an extra bit of sparkle.
APPRAISER: Surrounded by diamonds centering a beautiful oval-cut sapphire.
The sapphire is flanked by two old-European-cut diamonds, which is the exact cut of diamond you would expect to see during the Edwardian period.
The featured aspect of this ring is, of course, the sapphire.
And when I saw that sapphire, my eyes lit up.
GUEST: (laughs) APPRAISER: Much like that sapphire appears to light up in the setting.
When we're appraising sapphires, we're most concerned and interested in their origin.
So from where they were mined.
At this period, most sapphires we see came from the Burmese region.
APPRAISER: So Myanmar or Kashmir, which is the northernmost region of India.
APPRAISER: Kashmir sapphires are considered to be the most beautiful, perfect standard sapphire that you could have in a piece of jewelry.
In 1880, there was a landslide in the Kashmir region of India, and that landslide revealed sapphire deposits.
APPRAISER: The sapphires that were coming out of this area were the most beautiful in their color and their depth and their quality.
APPRAISER: So the maharaja of India at the time very quickly claimed that region for himself.
GUEST: (chuckles) APPRAISER: And from a period of 1882 to 1887, so in a five-year period, that mine in that region was completely depleted of sapphires.
APPRAISER: So every Kashmir sapphire that we see today came out of the ground in the Kashmir region of India in that five-year period.
So they are very rare and spectacular in their quality.
The only way to really determined the origin of a sapphire is to have it tested at a gem lab.
APPRAISER: Here, at beautiful Shelburne, Vermont, we do not have a gem lab.
GUEST: (chuckles): No.
APPRAISER: But we do have a handful of appraisers and, and our collective expertise, and I really do feel it is a Kashmir sapphire.
APPRAISER: If it is not a Kashmir sapphire, it, it would be a Burmese sapphire, which is also a very beautiful stone.
Just doesn't have the exact quality and, um, rarity of a Kashmir sapphire.
APPRAISER: If it is just a Burmese sapphire...
GUEST: Mm-hmm, right.
APPRAISER: ...I would say that the value for this at auction today would be somewhere between $40,000 to $60,000.
GUEST: (laughs): Okay.
It kind of shocks me.
APPRAISER: And if it is indeed a Kashmir sapphire, which I feel pretty confident it is, at auction, I think we're looking at somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000.
GUEST: Oh, wow, okay.
(clears throat) (voice trembling): That's quite something.
Thank you so much, I don't know what else to say.
I just, I'm... APPRAISER: Well, I think we have your great-great-grandmother...
GUEST: I'm surprised!
APPRAISER: ...to thank for her...
GUEST: Yeah, absolutely.
APPRAISER: ...exquisite taste...
APPRAISER: ...and eye in, in this really beautiful, beautiful piece of jewelry, and I'm so grateful to have seen it and for you to have brought it here today, because it's not something that we see...
I can count on one hand the number of Kashmir sapphires...
GUEST: I almost did not bring it!
So... APPRAISER: ...I have seen in my career.
GUEST: I hope that you do continue to wear it, because a sapphire like this really does deserve to be seen.
APPRAISER: Yes, it does.