In this photo from 1969, Shirley Temple Black is sworn in as a UN delegate, showing off the 9.54 carat blue diamond ring on her right hand. Photo / AP
A blue diamond ring that child star-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple wore for decades is going up for auction.
Sotheby’s says the 9.54 carat ring is among the more than 300 lots in the “Magnificent Jewels” auction scheduled for April 19 in New York. It has a pre-sale estimate of between US$25 million and US$35 million.
Sotheby’s says Temple’s father bought the cushion-cut stone for her around her 12th birthday in 1940 for US$7210.
She wore it throughout her life, as can be seen in a photograph from The Associated Press from September 1969.
This undated photo provided by Sothebys shows the 9.54 carat blue diamond ring worn for decades by child star-turned-ambassador Shirley Temple. Photo / Sothebys
“This was a treasured piece of jewellery that she wore and enjoyed her entire life,” said Frank Everett, sales director for Sotheby’s jewellery department in New York.
The actress was the immensely popular star of numerous movies in the 1930s, known for her bouncy curls and outgoing personality. As Shirley Temple Black, she had a long career in public service. She died in February 2014 at the age of 85.
Everett said that the ring had been sold by her estate to a private buyer and that buyer was now putting it up for auction.
The ring is being sold in its original platinum and diamond setting, and a gold setting Temple had made for it will be included as well, Everett said.