Holidaymaker’s £5 charity shop purchase turns out to be Chanel treasure worth almost £2,000

A bargain hunter who picked up a vintage belt from a charity shop for £5 while on holiday in the Caribbean was left stunned after it turned out to be a Chanel masterpiece worth a whopping almost £2,000. Despite wearing Chanel’s iconic CC logo, the woman assumed it wasn’t original when she found it during her 2019 trip to Barbados.

To her surprise, jewelry experts confirmed that the shiny, crystal-embellished belt was indeed a legitimate vintage piece from the designer brand. The unexpected treasure trove was recently auctioned at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, for an impressive £1,900.

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The happy owner from Harborough, Leicestershire, said: “I often pick up things from charity shops. It never occurred to me that it could be real. On reflection I have to smile at the Bajan lady who was volunteering in the shop. “

She recalled, “She suggested it might make a nice decoration for my Christmas tree.”

The accessory was far too valuable to hang on a tree and was deemed authentic by jewelry expert Kate Bliss. This Runway aurora diamond paste belt, made in France in the 1990s, was famously worn by Linda Evangelista at Chanel’s Ready-to-Wear fashion show in 1995, the Mirror reports.

The seller says: “I brought it back to England after a holiday in Barbados in 2019. I wore it as a necklace a few times but thought it was a bit bling-bling so it just stayed in the box . Then, earlier this year, I took him to the Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.”