AUCTIONS – Sotheby’s to auction Dame Shirley Bassey’s favourite diamonds


This October, Sotheby’s will present jewellery from the collection of Dame Shirley Bassey, recently appointed Member of the Order of the Companion of Honour by The King for services to music.

The Welsh-born singer, whose immensely successful career spans seven decades, is selling beloved pieces from her jewellery and watch collection for the first time at auction.

AUCTIONS – Sotheby’s to auction Dame Shirley Bassey’s favourite diamonds

Picture courtesy of Sotheby’s

Each piece featured in the sale represents a particular moment in Dame Shirley Bassey’s life, often marking a special episode in her illustrious career.

Collecting jewellery for me is like collecting memories, and this collection is full of them. All the pieces are meaningful and have a story to tell, whether I bought them for myself, or they were gifted to me. There is this beautiful 1960’s vintage Van Cleef & Arpels ring covered in white diamonds that Elton John gave me after I sang at one of his AIDS Gala evenings and which I’ve worn so many times. Or the ruby and diamond heart parure I spotted in a fine jeweller’s window during a stopover in Bangkok on my way to my very first concert tour of Australia. And perhaps one of the most special pieces in the collection is this emerald parure I bought myself to commemorate my very first Royal Variety Performance in front of the late Queen.” Dame Shirley Bassey commented.

The collection up at auction in Paris as part of the Sotheby’s Fine Jewels biannual sale this autumn, comprises over eighty pieces spanning various styles, from a number of prestigious jewellery and watches brands such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, with virtually all of them featuring diamonds – the gemstone most associated with Dame Shirley Bassey since she first sang the famous Bond song ‘Diamonds are Forever’ in 1971, a song that has featured consistently in her concerts ever since. Notably, the singer is the only one in the world ever to sing more than one Bond theme recording Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker between 1964 and 1979.

I fell in love with jewellery when I first discovered natural pearls as a up and coming singer, and I bought myself my first string of pearls – the first piece of jewellery I’d ever bought. However, I quickly graduated to my lifelong passion for diamonds which preceded the recording of Diamonds Are Forever. In fact, I accepted to sing the song because it rang true to me and the way I felt about diamonds then and now.” Dame Shirley Bassey added.