Peggy, also known as Ms. Hood, had carefully encased the ring in several plastic bags and a pair of socks before affixing it to the railing of her front porch.
The auctioneer, Richard Winterton, disclosed that the ring and earrings drew a large amount of attention and ultimately sold for a total of £17,800 when purchased together.
On Monday, an online bidder won the ring in its whole for the price of £11,000; the earrings, on the other hand, were sold individually for the amount of £6,800.
Mr. Winterton commented that the sapphires were "hidden treasure" due to the circumstances in which they were found, and he described them as "beauties," ticking the crucial boxes of origin and no heat treatment. He added:
Unsurprisingly, there was a tremendous amount of interest from all over the UK leading up to the auction, with phone bids on the day and hundreds watching online.- Mr. Winterton
The auction house referred to Mrs. Hood's collection of thirty artifacts as "The Littleover Hoard," and among those items were a pair of sapphire earrings and a pair of earrings.
Her pearl necklace with an emerald and diamond clasp also sold at the same auction for the same price of £14,500.
Sue Bird and Jonathan Hood, two of Ms. Hood's children, have expressed their happiness at the way the auction turned out.
They were aware that their mother had received some jewelry as a gift from a longtime family friend several decades previously, but they were unaware of the scope of their mother's collection of jewels at the time.
Ms. Bird reflected:
To think all of these treasures have been hidden away for years, and we had absolutely no idea. We could easily have thrown some of them away and never been any the wiser.- Ms. Bird
The story of the sapphire jewelry and the unanticipated finding of The Littleover Hoard is a powerful illustration of the fact that buried treasures can often be uncovered in the most unusual of locations.
The fact that these artifacts were able to withstand being put away in storage for such a significant amount of time and still maintain a high level of integrity is evidence of the high-quality materials and skilled craftsmanship that went into their production.
The sale of Mrs. Hood's collection exemplifies not just the continuing attractiveness of fine jewelry but also the willingness of collectors and jewelry enthusiasts alike to spend considerable sums in order to acquire a piece of the past.
The exquisiteness of the sapphires and their rarity of them both undoubtedly played a role in the high level of interest that was shown in the auction, and the sale of the sapphires will undoubtedly have brought joy to their new owners, who will be able to appreciate both their beauty and the story that lies behind how they were discovered.