| Model Katya Yakimova from St Petersburg, Russia, poses with the diamonds in London on Friday. (AP/PTI)
London, Oct. 19: A widow has discovered £1 million of diamonds in a small sealed box marked “From Russia with Love” in a Swiss safe deposit box.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had no idea that her husband had such a fortune in jewels until she opened the box.
She asked a London jeweller to value her jewellery for probate purposes after her husband died but they were both in for a shock when they opened the box in Geneva.
Jonathan Condrup, who owns Bond Street Jewellery Ltd in the West End, said: “I knew that I was going to be seeing some nice jewellery but I didn’t think that there was going to be anything out of this world.
“She opened the safe deposit box and at the back was a little sealed box with “From Russia with Love” written on the outside in her husband’s handwriting and with his signature on it.
“Inside this box were little packets containing 77 loose diamonds, some of them as large as six carats, which are worth £1 million. Every stone has since been certified as genuine.”
It is thought that the husband, who lived in London and Geneva, may have acquired the diamonds in a business deal in Russia, where he was a frequent visitor in the early 1980s.
“I suppose that he may have planned to surprise his wife with the diamonds one day and it is sad that this only happened after he had died,” said Condrup.
“She was astonished and it was very exciting for me. I felt as though I was witnessing somebody opening an early Christmas present.”
The widow has decided that, even if the diamonds did come from Russia with love, she will sell them to raise money for a family trust.