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Shirley Temple’s blue diamond could bring $35 million at Sotheby’s

A magnificent blue diamond originally owned by Hollywood child star Shirley Temple will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s next month.
Having spent more than 60 years in the actress’ personal collection, the ring could now bring up to $35 million when it crosses the block in New York.

Temple began her screen career in 1931 at the age of just three years old, and by 1935 she had become Hollywood’s number-one box-office star, a position she maintained until 1938. During her film career she starred in 44 features, and merchandise bearing her likeness made tens of millions of dollars.

However, Temple’s popularity waned as she grew older, and she retired from film acting at the age of just 22.

Weighing in at an impressive 9.54 carats, the cushion-cut Fancy Blue Diamond ring was purchased by George Temple for his daughter in 1940, following completion of her fantasy film The Blue Bird (which proved to be the first flop of her six-year career).

Temple wore the ring publically for decades, long after her retirement from Hollywood, and throughout her political career which began in the mid-1960s – most notably when she was sworn in as a Representative to the 24th United Nations General Assembly by President Nixon in 1969.

Temple later served as the U.S Ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and was appointed first female Chief of Protocol of the United States in 1976.

Following Temple’s passing in February 2014, the ring was acquired from her estate by a private collector, and will now be offered at auction for the first time with an estimate of $25-$35 million.

Elsewhere the auction will feature a dazzling array of coloured gemstones, Belle Époque and Art Deco creations, and jewels from the Collection of Mamdouha and Elmer Holmes Bobst.

The Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale takes place in New York on Tuesday April 19.

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