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One of Shirley Temple’s most prized possessions is going up for auction: A 9.54-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond ring that the late child star — who rose to fame after starring in Bright Eyes, Curly Top and Heidi — received from her father in early 1940.
The ring, which Sotheby’s jewelry specialist Frank Everett says is set in a “very rare color,” was given to Temple by her dad around her 12th birthday and the time of the premiere of her film, The Blue Bird. The stunner remained part of Temple’s collection until her death in 2014.
Not only is the ring detailed in an older cut and cushion shape with rounded corners, but its blue hue adds that extra elegance to the number. “They are incredibly rare,” says Everett of the cool shade seen on diamonds. “And to see one like this where the colors are just so beautiful and even and special is amazing just to hold in your hand.”
Temple’s father was clearly ahead of his time when it came to picking out jewels, as there wasn’t a huge interest in color diamonds back then, which could have been the reason that he was able to purchase the ring for $7,210. (The ring would cost roughly $122,000 with today’s dollars, according to Sotheby’s.)
“The interest in colored diamonds didn’t pick up to the level that it’s at now until probably the probably late ‘90s or year 2000,” explains Everett. “Back then, there certainly were blue diamonds, but they weren’t as coveted. We’re just at the moment now where the diamond market really understands the rarity of these colors.”
The ring has also been restored to its original setting, a 1940s platinum and diamond deco mounting, but at one point, Temple commissioned Tiffany’s to create a different setting in yellow gold, which Sotheby’s still owns.
Now, the diamond ring is expected to go up for auction at Sotheby’s on April 19 with an estimate of $25 million to $35 million.
Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s
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