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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shirley Temple Blue Diamond Doesn’t Sell


Sotheby’s saleroom during bidding on the Shirley Temple Blue Diamond

The much hyped and anticipated sale of the Shirley Temple Blue Diamond had an unsatisfactory ending Tuesday. 

It was the last item of Sotheby’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale. Bidding on the 9.54-carat gem stalled at $22 million when Lisa Hubbard, who led the auction, abruptly ended the sale. The result was a collective gasp and confusion among buyers and others in the Sotheby’s salesroom while Hubbard, co chairman, North and South America International Jewellery, and Sotheby’s staff quickly left the room. 

A little while later, the auction house issued a formal statement: 

“The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond is an exceptional stone in quality, rarity and provenance.  It has been an honor to share its story with collectors, connoisseurs and Temple’s loyal fans over the past few months.  Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t its night in the salesroom, but we remain fully confident that it will find a buyer.”

The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond


The Fancy Deep Blue, Potentially Internally Flawless, VVS2 clarity diamond set in a ring was owned by the child actress and American diplomat throughout her life. It has an estimate of $25 – $35 million. Her father purchased the ring in early 1940 around the time of her 12th birthday for $7,210.

The sale of more than 300 pieces saw took in more than $29.8 million with several items being pulled because of insufficient bids. Among the top lots are the following:


* A 12.45-carat brilliant-cut Fancy Purplish Pink diamond set on a platinum ring with diamonds fetched more than $4.5 million, within estimates.

* A 19.25 emerald-cut diamond on a platinum ring flanked by two modified calf's head-shaped diamonds sold for nearly $2.3 million, just over its estimate.

* A 15.37 carat emerald cut diamond on a platinum ring sold for more than $1.5 million, within estimates.

* A 5.06-carat  pear-shaped Fancy Light Blue diamond on a platinum ring flanked by flanked by bullet-cut diamonds saw spirited bidding, eventually selling for $1.45 million, nearly three times its high estimate. 

* Also seeing aggressive bidding was a 9.57-carat cushion-cut sapphire on a platinum ring flanked by two kite-shaped diamonds by J.E. Caldwell sold for nearly $1.1 million.  

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