A rare blue diamond that belonged to former child star Shirley Temple is set to be auctioned next month for an estimated price of $25m (£17.3m) to $35m (£24.2m), says Sotheby’s.
The 9.54-carat ‘Fancy Deep Blue potentially internally Flawless’, VVS2 clarity diamond ring was purchased by Temple’s father for $7,210 (£5,000) in 1940, around the time of her 12th birthday and the premier of her film The Blue Bird.
The auction house said the film may have served as inspiration for purchasing a blue stone specifically, as coloured diamond were not as coveted at the time as they are in today’s market.
The traditional cushion-cut stone remained in Temple’s collection until her passing in 2014, when a private buyer bought the ring from her estate.
Gary Schuler, co-chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in the Americas, said: “It’s remarkable to have one stone illustrate the dramatic shift in attitude towards colored diamonds over the course of the last century. Today we recognize these stones as the definition of rarity, and they are eagerly sought-after in our current market for that very reason.
“The Shirley Temple Blue in particular has a traditional cushion cut that gives it a certain softness, charm and personality, and its saturated, Fancy Deep Blue color imbues it with a mesmerizing oceanic quality.”
The rise in demand for coloured gemstones has also been highlighted by auction house Bonhams, which said a surge in demand has lead to a rise in prices.