"Can I walk?" said one lucky attendee as she tried to stand up after a jewelry appraiser put a value of $140,000 to $160,000 on a yellow diamond engagement ring. The owner of the 3.4 carat stone hugged appraiser Lila Bankston as she walked away Saturday during a taping of the popular PBS program "Antiques Roadshow" at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
PDA's (public displays of affection) were all around when an item was appraised highly. Leila Dunbar got a big hug after she appraised a Sonja Henie skating dress for $3,000 to $5,000.
Others, such as Tracy Stone of Golden Valley, left with less exuberance. "I thought it was handmade in Norway," she said of the 6-ft tapestry she brought. Turns out it's machine-made, probably from France, and is a common tourist item worth about $75. Ouch.
The star of the show, besides the yellow diamond, was a Frederic Remington bronze sculpture (right) called "Mountain Man." Although the signed piece lacks a model number, making its exact date difficult to determine, the appraiser put the value between $250,000 and $300,000 at auction. The piece was inherited from the guest's grandfather and has been in the family for 100 years.
Other valuable discoveries included paintings by Franz Roubaud and Victor Higgins valued at nearly $100,000 each. The guest who brought the Higgins Native American painting paid $5 for it.
Saturday's taping will produce three episodes of "Antiques Roadshow" that will air between January and June 2012. PBS will post the schedule in September on its website.