Sotheby’s to offer Shirley Temple blue diamond
NEW YORK, March 18, 2016 – Sotheby’s April 19 2016 auction of Magnificent Jewels in New York will be led by a 9.54-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond ring owned by Shirley Temple throughout her life – from a child star lifting America’s spirits out of the Great Depression, to her decades of service as an American diplomat (then Shirley Temple Black).
Shirley Temple’s father purchased the diamond ring in early 1940, around the time of her 12th birthday as well as the premier of her film The Blue Bird.
That film may have served as inspiration for purchasing a blue stone specifically, as coloured diamonds were not as coveted at the time as they are in today’s market.
The traditional cushion-cut stone remained in Shirley Temple’s collection until her passing in 2014, and it is offered this spring in its original Art Deco-inspired setting.
Temple’s father paid $7,210 for the ring in 1940. The 9.54-carat Fancy Deep Blue, Potentially Internally Flawless, VVS2 clarity diamond ring now comes to auction at Sotheby’s this April with an estimate of $25–35 million.
Gary Schuler, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry, Americas, said: “It’s remarkable to have one stone illustrate the dramatic shift in attitude towards coloured diamonds over the course of the last century.
“Today we recognise these stones as the definition of rarity, and they are eagerly sought-after in our current market for that very reason.
“The Shirley Temple Blue in particular has a traditional cushion cut that gives it a certain softness, charm and personality, and its saturated, Fancy Deep Blue colour imbues it with a mesmerising oceanic quality.”