During an inspection of the Czech National Museum’s gem collection a number of fakes were found. So far, only 400 of the 5000 stones have been checked and a 5-carat diamond acquired by the museum in 1968 has been revealed to be a worthless piece of cut glass while a 19-carat sapphire bought in 1978 for 200,000 crowns (£7,000) has been found to be a cheap imitation.
Ivo Macek, head of the museum’s precious stones department, told Radio Praha what we have here is still a sapphire, but it is not a natural stone as was documented when the museum gained it for its collection in the 1970s. He went on to say that it was artificially created so it does not have the value we thought it did. It was acquired for 200 thousand crowns and today it would have been worth tens of millions.
On top of those, it is believed that at least half of the museum’s collection of rubies are not real. The museum expects a full review of its collection to be completed by 2020.