£10 car boot sale ring sells for £656,000 at auction

A ring bought at a car boot sale for a mere £10 has been sold at auction - for more than £650,000.

The diamond ring was snapped up at a hospital junk sale back in the 1980s by a woman who thought it was a decorative costume jewel.

Having worn it for more than two decades, she took the ring to Sotheby's where it was identified as a 26.27 carat, cushion-shaped diamond with a value of £250,000 to £350,000.

But now, having gone to auction, the ring has sold for nearly twice the estimation, at £656,750.

Sotheby's auctioned the ring on Wednesday in London. Credit: PA

The ring went up for bidding in London on Wednesday and was subject to a fierce contest.

Prospective suitors started the bidding at £240,000, before the hammer eventually came down at £540,000.

On top of this, the buyer had to pay over £120,000 in buyer's premium and VAT.

Proceedings concluded with the ring being sold for 65,670 times the amount it was first bought for at West Middlesex Hospital, west London.

Though little is known about the origin of the ring, experts believe it would have once been owned by royalty.

One expert, Tobias Kormind, said: "It originates from the 1800s - before the discovery of modern diamond mines and a time when very few diamonds were available."