Sotheby's to auction the Shirley Temple Blue Diamond

The lead lot at Sotheby’s New York auction on 19 April will be the legendary star’s beloved blue diamond ring.

Shirley Temple ring

A 9.54ct Fancy Deep blue diamond ring, given to Shirley Temple by her father, will have a starring role at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on 19 April this auction season.

Shirley Temple brought cheer to millions during tough economic times. (Photo courtesy of the Everett Collection)

The movie star's father bought the Art Deco-inspired ring in 1940 and gave it to her around the time of her 12th birthday and the premiere of her film The Blue Bird. At the time of purchase, colored stones were not nearly so coveted as they are today, and it is believed that the film's title may have inspired his choice of stone. 

Reflecting the massive increase in the value of colored gemstones, as well as the undeniable power of provenance in valuations, the Shirley Temple blue diamond, which cost $7,210 in 1940, is now estimated to achieve a sale price of $25-35 million. 

Shirley Temple was born on April 23 1928 and quickly rose to fame starring in movies such as Bright Eyes and Curly Top. Her acting, singing and dancing skills brought cheer to millions of moviegoers during tough economic times. "Shirley Temple helped to lift America’s spirits out of the Great Depression, and she served her country in many capacities throughout the remainder of her life. Her ring and its original Art Deco setting recall a time when she was nothing short of the biggest movie star in the world," said Frank Everett, sales director of  Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York.

This 9.54ct Fancy Deep, VVS2 clarity, blue diamond ring once belonged to Shirley Temple (est. $25-35 million). 

The star treasured the ring throughout her life, from her early acting career to her many years serving as an American diplomat. It remained in her possession until her death, aged 85, in 2014.

The sale of the blue diamond comes less than six months after Sotheby’s set a new world auction record for any diamond or gemstone - as well as a record price-per-carat for any diamond or gemstone - when a 12.03ct Fancy Vivid blue diamond sold for $48,468,158 ($4,028,941 per carat) in Geneva. Previously called the Blue Moon diamond, the magnificent stone was purchased by a private collector from Hong Kong who renamed it The Blue Moon of Josephine.

Editor's Pick

The Jewellery Editor is for sale

Help us make the future bright

Since founding The Jewellery Editor in 2010, we have grown our digital magazine to be the number one global source of information and inspiration for fine jewellery and luxury watches.

3,500 articles, 150 videos with over 5 million views and a reach of over 2 million per month on social media later, we have offered unparalleled and highly respected coverage of our sector. However, despite our editorial success, we are financially struggling as an independent publisher.

Entirely funded, owned and run by Christine and Maria in London, we are now looking to sell The Jewellery Editor so that it can continue to grow. As e-commerce becomes a priority in our industry, we believe there is huge potential for engaging editorial content and are seeking a buyer who shares our values and passion so that under their guidance we can give a bright future to the platform and help us grow our business to the next stage.

If you are interested to discuss the above, please contact [email protected]

Alternatively, if you are willing to help, you can donate so that in the meantime, we can continue to publish more interesting content.

Terms and conditions




We use our own and third party cookies to improve your experience and our services. If you continue, we consider that you accept their use. You can get more information on your website at cookies policy.