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Flea market diamond expected to fetch $454K at auction

LONDON -- Some people have all the luck. 

Consider the person who dropped about $15 nearly 30 years ago on what was thought to be a piece of costume jewelry — it turned out to be a 26.27 carat white diamond.

The gem was bought at a flea market and is expected to fetch about $454,000 when it is auctioned by Sotheby's next month.

The buyer had no idea of the ring's value because 19th-century diamonds were not cut to show off their brilliance and clarity.

The auction house's jewelry department chief, Jessica Wyndham, said Monday the owner wore it on a daily basis, unaware that it was a real diamond.

She called it "an amazing find." The owners have asked not to be identified.

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