In the first five parts of this series, ElvisBlog has featured over 50 rings Elvis owned. He sure did love rings, didn’t he? The January 7, 2016 Auction at Graceland had a few more, so let’s take a look.
1914 Indian Head 2½-Dollar Gold Coin and Diamonds Ring:
Elvis had a fondness for rings designed to showcase rare, valuable coins, and certainly a 1914 2½-Dollar Indian-Head gold piece qualifies as that. Plus, it is set in more 14K gold weighing approximately 18.6 grams. Finally, the ring is enhanced with 26 round diamonds weighing approximately 1 carat surrounding the Indian Head side of the coin.
The auction website says Elvis gave this ring to Tom Hulett who assisted Colonel Parker in managing Elvis’ live performances in the 1970s. A Letter of Authenticity from Hulett does not specifically state that Elvis ever wore the ring before giving it to him, rather than just buying it to be a gift. Nor is there any photos presented of Elvis wearing the ring.
However, this ring is a custom design, so bidders were satisfied it was an Elvis-owned-and-worn ring and bid it up to $23,500, right in the middle of the pre-auction estimate.
10K Gold Tiered Octagonal Ring with 56 Diamonds:
According to the auction website, “Elvis was a fan of the sparkle, and this ring certainly has the dazzle fit for a king.” Yes, indeed, it does – a 10-karat gold men’s ring that weighs approximately 9 grams and contains 56 diamonds set within a tiered octagonal design.
In July 1973, Elvis gave the ring to Sam Thompson, his friend, bodyguard, and the brother of girlfriend Linda Thompson. Thompson’s LOA was provided for verification, but it makes no mention that Elvis ever wore the ring. However, the auction website states, “It was common for Elvis to give his jewelry to his friends and family at the slightest admiration of a piece and since Sam was not only his bodyguard, but a trusted friend, it’s only natural that Elvis would gift him such a magnificent piece of jewelry.”
Apparently, that explanation motivated a total of eleven bids, topping out at $13,750
Gold, Diamond and Black Sapphire Ring – “Number 10” Ring:
I think this is the first open-faced ring we have seen in the Elvis’ Fabulous Rings series, and there is no question why Elvis called it the “number ten” ring. Apparently that number had no special significance for Elvis, he just liked the way the ring looked.
This unusual shape is 14-karat gold and has an open front and squared-back band. The “1” is a rectangular design containing 3 diamonds. The “0” is a large black cabochon star sapphire weighing approximately 2.5 carats, surrounded by 13 diamonds, each contained at the end of its own cylindrical channel.
The auction website says sapphires were attributed special significance by numerology enthusiast like Elvis, which may help explain why he had a lot of sapphire jewelry. He gave this ring to his friend and wardrobe manager Richard Davis, the lucky recipient of many articles of clothes and jewelry over the years.
This “number ten” ring sold for $15,000, right at the top end of the estimated range.
Aztec Ring with Jaguar Head:
I think this is one of the ugliest rings presented in this series, but the bidders thought differently or didn’t care. It sold for $16,750, which was above the pre-auction estimate.
This Aztec-patterned, 14-karat yellow gold ring contains an opaque green, chrysoberyl, calcite cabochon, measuring approximately 5.6mm, above a protruding stylized jaguar head set with green tourmaline eyes. The auction website said Elvis liked the three preceding rings because of his fondness for sapphires, sparkle, and numerology, but they say nothing here about his fondness for jaguars. Instead, it says, “An ideal symbol for Elvis, the jaguar represents power and strength in ancient cultures, and in Aztec mythology is a warrior deity known for protecting the royal household.”
Sam Thompson was the recipient of this ring, too, but this time his LOA specifically states that when he admired the ring on Elvis’ finger, Elvis took it off immediately and gave it to him. But when Thompson tried to return it, Elvis just shook his head and mouthed the word ‘no’ and winked at him. It is specific references like this one that I would always look for if I had the money to bid on Elvis rings.
Gold, Diamond and Rock Crystal Quartz Ring:
This and the next one are ladies rings that Elvis gave to girlfriend Linda Thompson in 1974 and 1972. So, he picked it out, purchased it, and touched it briefly while giving it to her. This is not enough for me to consider it an “Elvis” ring, and not worth near the value of one he wore on stage or in his personal life. But the bidders still went for it and ran the price up to $8,750. The pre-auction estimate was $15-20,000, higher than three of the four real Elvis rings. I knew that wasn’t right.
Rock crystal quartz is the basis of this floral design. It is centered with a cluster of round, brilliant-cut diamonds and accented by 18-karat yellow gold
Gold, Emerald and Diamond Ring:
Another ring Elvis gave to Linda Thompson. The elongated 4-prong design is 18-karat yellow gold with four round emeralds weighing approximately 0.64 carats and two round diamonds weighing approximately 0.40. There were only three bidders, but the bidding topped out at $6,250.
In 1988, Linda Thompson decided to part with 34 articles of jewelry given to her by Elvis at a Christie’s auction in New York. The auction was mentioned in this National Enquirer article.
In the text, Thompson stressed that she was not selling for the money but only to share these precious mementos with others that would appreciate them. “Something is not beautiful unless someone else sees it. It seemed selfish and silly to have all these pieces that Elvis gave me just sit hidden in a dark safety-deposit box. I just hope they will bring as much joy to someone else as they brought to me.”
I imagine the money was pretty nice, too.
© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
Previous Elvis’ Fabulous Rings Posts:
Part 1; https://www.elvisblog.net/2011/05/29/elvis-fabulous-rings/
Part 2: https://www.elvisblog.net/2012/05/21/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-2/
Part 3 https://www.elvisblog.net/2012/08/18/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-3/
Part 4: https://www.elvisblog.net/2014/10/06/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-4/
Part 5: https://www.elvisblog.net/2015/08/15/elvis-fabulous-rings-part-5/
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