$35 Million for Shirley Temple’s Blue Diamond Ring!

March 20th, 2016 by Noam Flint

The famous Shirley Temple, “America’s little darling” who began her acting career at the tender age of 3, also happened to have spectacular taste in jewelry.

The Shirley Temple Blue DiamondThe Shirley Temple Blue Diamond
9.54 carat Fancy Deep Blue VVS2 (Image: Sotheby’s)

After starring in numerous movies, her father bought her a 9.54 carat Fancy Deep Blue Diamond with VVS2 clarity set in an art deco setting in 1940 for her 12th birthday and in honor of the premiere of her movie “The Blue Bird”. He paid $7,210 for the ring at the time, which in today’s terms would be about $122,000 – making it one of the best diamond investments ever.

Jewelry from famous celebrities always garners extra attention and value aside from the value factor of the piece of jewelry itself. Be it jewelry from a famous fashionista like Elizabeth Taylor, or from a beloved rock star like Elvis, these pieces always earn extraordinary prices at auction. Coupled with the fact that the ring in question features a natural blue diamond, this ring will definitely earn a spectacular price under the hammer.

The Auctioning of Shirley Temple’s Blue Diamond Ring

The ring is being offered by Sotheby’s NY on April 19th as the headlining piece of the auction house’s Magnificent Jewels sale.

They have chosen very interesting timing, having just announced the sale of the blue De Beers Millennium – a huge vivid oval blue diamond that will be sold at their auction house in Hong Kong in April as well.

All of this comes at the heels of the highest prices ever paid for blue diamonds. The records began breaking in November 2014 when the 9.75 carat Fancy Vivid Blue ‘Zoe’ diamond sold at auction for $32.6 million, making it the highest price for a blue diamond ever at auction.

This past November, that record was shattered by the 12.03 carat Fancy Vivid Blue ‘Blue Moon of Josephine’ diamond, which at $48.5 million became the highest price per carat ever paid for a blue diamond at auction, the highest price ever paid for a blue diamond at auction, and the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.

Shirley Temple VS De Beers

Obviously, Sotheby’s has hopes to continue this trend not only with its “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4’ blue diamond in Hong Kong in April but also with the Shirley Temple Blue.

The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, a 10.10 carat Fancy Vivid Blue oval shaped diamond, has been estimated to sell for $30 million – $35 million, and the Shirley Temple Blue is estimated to sell for $25 million – $35 million.

The fact that Temple’s father picked out the blue diamond in 1940, and how much he paid for it, just goes to show how ahead of his time he truly was. Later in life, Shirley Temple commissioned Tiffany’s to reset the ring in yellow gold. However, although it has been reset in its original setting, the truth does still remain how much the diamond has appreciated in value in the last 76 years, and that coupled with the celebrity value factor shows the extent of the possibility of a long term buy and hold strategy of investing in blue colored diamonds.

Now that blue diamonds have been climbing in popularity for the last decade, it is plain to see that this ring, and also the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, will earn amazing prices under the hammer that will total many times their original value.

We can’t wait until April to see how these blue diamonds do at auction, who will buy them, and whether either of them beats the records of the Blue Moon and the Zoe! What do you think will happen? Can blue diamonds break records again? Once again – we’ll have to wait and see…

Shirley Temple picture credit – Gushi Soda