Belt bought from charity shop on holiday for £5 sells for £1,900

A belt bought for fifty in a charity shop on a Caribbean holiday has sold for 380 times more after it turned out to be a treasure trove of French designers. A tourist purchased the item for £5 during a trip to Barbados in 2019 – but assumed it was a fake despite it bearing Chanel’s unmistakable CC logo.

And she was stunned when jewelery experts confirmed the glittering, crystal-sparkling belt was a genuine vintage Chanel worth far more. The bargain belt has now sold at auction for £1,900 after going under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbys.,

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

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

Chanel belt sold in Hansons Fine Art sale

The item proved too valuable to enhance the festive decorations after it was identified as an authentic Chanel by jewelery expert Kate Bliss. Made in France in the 1990s, the Runway Aurora Diamond Paste Belt was a famous style modeled by Linda Evangelista in Chanel’s 1995 Ready-to-Wear fashion show.

The seller added: “Brought it back to England after a holiday to Barbados in 2019. Wore it a few times as a necklace but found it a little shiny so it stayed in the box.

“Then earlier this year I went to the Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. When I saw the jewelry on display, it reminded me of the belt.

“On closer inspection I found a Chanel mark and date and decided to take it to a valuation day hosted by jewelery expert Kate Bliss and Hansons Auctioneers at Albert’s Archives in North Kilworth, Leicestershire. I was excited to meet Kate and learn more about the belt. It turned out to be genuine.”