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Diamonds Are Not Forever? Dame Shirley Bassey auctions jewellery

Pieces from Diamonds are Forever singer’s collection will be exhibited by Sotheby’s London before being auctioned for charity in Paris

Diamonds Are Forever singer Shirley Bassey is to auction some of her extensive and “meaningful” jewellery collection, including a diamond ring given to her by Elton John.

Top lots from her collection, which will be exhibited by Sotheby’s London later this month before being auctioned for charity in Paris, include a diamond necklace estimated to sell for between €270,000 and €320,000 (£232,420 and £275,460). A diamond and gold parure created by Cartier is estimated to fetch between €200,000 and €250,000 (£172,170 and £215,210).

The 87-year-old famously sang about diamonds in the 1971 James Bond film starring Sean Connery and said she accepted the offer to sing the track as the lyrics “rang true to me and the way I felt about diamonds then and now.”

“Collecting jewellery for me is like collecting memories and this collection is full of them,” Bassey said. “All the pieces are meaningful and have a story to tell, whether I bought them for myself or they were gifted to me.

“There is this beautiful 1960s vintage Van Cleef & Arpels ring covered in white diamonds that Elton John gave me after I sang at one of his Aids Gala evenings and which I’ve worn so many times.

“Or the ruby and diamond heart parure I spotted in a fine jeweller’s window during a stopover in Bangkok on my way to my very first concert tour of Australia.

“And perhaps one of the most special pieces in the collection is this emerald parure I bought myself to commemorate my very first Royal Variety Performance in front of the late Queen.”

Bassey said she fell in love with jewellery “as an up-and-coming singer and I bought myself my first string of pearls – the first piece of jewellery I’d ever bought.”

Other lots include a yellow diamond ring, which could fetch between €165,000 and €200,000 (£142,030 and £172,150), and an aquamarine, sapphire, diamond and gem set estimated to sell for between €60,000 and €70,000 (£51,640 and £60,250).

Highlights from the collection will be exhibited at Sotheby’s London from 24 May to 29 before it exhibits in Paris from 4 October prior to the live auction, taking place at Sotheby’s Paris on 10 October.

The collection is part of the Sotheby’s Fine Jewels biannual sale, with proceeds benefiting Bassey’s chosen charities.


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