We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.

antique roadshow ivory bracelet


Woman's rare antique turned away from 'Antique Roadshow' for beautiful heart-wrenching reason

"I just love you for bringing it in and thank you so much for making me so sad."

Photos by Murat Rahim Caglak and Antoni Shkraba via Canva

Woman's antique turned away from 'Antique Roadshow'

People come by things in all sorts of ways. Sometimes you find something while at a garage sale and sometimes it's because a family member passed away and it was left to them. After coming into possession of the item, the owner may be tempted to see how much it's worth so it can be documented for insurance purposes or sold.

On a recent episode of BBC One's Antique Roadshow, a woman brought an ivory bracelet to be appraised. Interestingly enough, the expert didn't meet this rare find with excitement, but appeared somber. The antique expert, Ronnie Archer-Morgan carefully explains the purpose of the bracelet in what appears to be a tense emotional exchange.

There would be no appraisal of this antique ivory bracelet adorned with beautiful script around the circumference. Archer-Morgan gives a brief disclaimer that he and the Antique Roadshow disapprove of the trade of ivory, though that was not his reason for refusing the ivory bangle.

"This ivory bangle here is not about trading in ivory, it’s about trading in human life, and it’s probably one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever had to talk about. But talk about it we must," Archer-Morgan says.

Turns out the woman had no idea what she had in her possession as she purchased it from an estate sale over 30 years before. One of the elderly residents she cared for passed away and the woman found the ivory bracelet among the things being sold. Finding the bangle particularly intriguing with the fancy inscription around it, she decided to purchase the unique piece of jewelry.

After explaining that his great-grandmother was once enslaved in Nova Scotia, Canada before being returned to Sierra Leone, Archer-Morgan concluded he could not price the item.

"I just don’t want to value it. I do not want to put a price on something that signifies such an awful business. But the value is in the lessons that this can tell people," he tells the woman.

In the end the woman leaves without knowing the monetary value of the item but with a wealth of knowledge she didn't have before visiting. Now she can continue to share the significance of the antique with others. Watch the full explanation below.