RoyJohn, thank you. Sit down with a beer and I’ll tell you a story.
Driving home from Grocery shopping and traveling through an exclusive area in Sydney, I spotted an “on site” auction sign. Not unusual here, once the relatives have frisked the house, anything left over usually goes in a rubbish skip, but if at all saleable, they will do an “on site, clear the complete house” auction to raise a few bucks (because it costs money to dump stuff).
I actually wanted to check out the house. It was a historic Federation (and it sold for $5 million bucks). So inside we go.
Typical old lady living in an old house type fare. All the good stuff already taken by the beneficiaries but still interesting stuff. In a bedroom on a bed was a battered cardboard box, apparently found in the bottom of a wardrobe and full of small metal tins, lots of them. Rusted shut. Plus old jewellery drill bits, old fashioned jewellers scales, what I thought were silver findings (ring heads, earring backs, clasps). Also some uncut small sapphire, raw turquoise slabs, loose pearls, loose coral beads, loose garnet beads.
What a strange thing to find, weird but interesting. Eek, dead creatures also in this box. Ugh, anyhow I do some jewellery making and I figured I could use the beads and silver findings. $60, it’s mine.
At home I’m rattling these tins, what’s inside? I look at the jewellery bits. What, I’m seeing 18ct, 750, Plat. Not silver- score.
Low and behold as I finally get tins open I see lots and lots of “crystals”. Excellent. I pick up a nice yellow one, hang on, this ain’t no crystal, this is a yellow sapphire. What, how is this possible?
I did some research. Sure Mrs more recently passed away, but hubby died in the 1990s. With his name I googled it, sure enough a jeweller and he must have done ok enough to afford the ritzy house.
I’m figuring he had stuff at home, when he suddenly passed (heart attack apparently) it looks like Mrs just gathered up all the odds and ends from his home workshop, put them in a box and then put them in the wardrobe and there they stayed. And then forgotten.
This is one of them. Most others were easier to ID but rubies are hard.
So a treasure trove and 58 grams of gold & Plat for $60.
No tears here. Cheers