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Agatha Christie's long-lost diamonds to be auctioned

Agatha Christie's long-lost diamonds to be auctioned
Agatha Christie's lost diamond jewelry will be auctioned. (EPA)

Sounds like the makings of a mystery: A cache of diamonds was found in a trunk after sitting undiscovered for years.

Jennifer Grant, an Agatha Christie fan, bought a traveling trunk at an estate sale at Greenway, Christie's holiday home. The trunk was surprisingly heavy because of a lockbox bolted inside. There was no key.

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"I almost did not want to open it because then the mystery would be over," Grant told the BBC. "When friends came round we would tip the trunk from one side to the other and listen to hear if anything rattled. If you were very quiet you could just about hear something sliding inside."

The beloved creator of sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Agatha Christie was one of the bestselling novelists of the 20th century. After a long, celebrated career, Christie died in 1976 at age 85.

After Grant bought the trunk from Christie's estate, she waited four years before getting help to pry the lockbox open. Inside was a bag of gold coins, a diamond brooch and a three-stone diamond ring.

The jewels had first belonged to Christie's mother; Grant says she had read about them in Christie's autobiography. In it, Christie wrote that her mother had considered costume jewelry in "bad taste" and referred to her fine jewelry as "'my diamond buckle, my diamond crescent and my diamond engagement ring'."

Bonham's will sell the brooch and ring in two separate auctions to take place Oct. 8. The ring is expected to sell for $4,000-$8,000 and the brooch for $9,600-$13,000.

Grant paid about $160 for the trunk when she purchased it in 2006.

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