Diamonds Are Forever: Dame Shirley Bassey to auction ‘meaningful’ jewels

Diamonds Are Forever singer Dame Shirley Bassey is to auction some of her “meaningful” jewels, including a diamond ring gifted to her by Sir Elton John.

Dame Shirley, 87, famously sang about diamonds in the 1971 James Bond film starring Sir Sean Connery and said she accepted the offer to sing the track as the lyrics “rang true” to her.

The Welsh singer, said: “Collecting jewellery for me is like collecting memories and this collection is full of them.

“All the pieces are meaningful and have a story to tell, whether I bought them for myself or they were gifted to me.

Dame Shirley Bassey’s yellow diamond ring
Dame Shirley Bassey’s yellow diamond ring (Sotheby’s/PA)

“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.”

The singer added: “I fell in love with jewellery when I first discovered natural pearls as an up-and-coming singer and I bought myself my first string of pearls – the first piece of jewellery I’d ever bought.

“However, I quickly graduated to my lifelong passion for diamonds which preceded the recording of Diamonds Are Forever.

Sotheby’s auction
Dame Shirley Bassey’s aquamarine, sapphire, diamond and gemset set (Sotheby’s/PA)

Top lots from her collection include a diamond necklace, estimated to sell for between 270,000 and 320,000 euros (£232,420 and £275,460) and a diamond and gold parure created by Cartier, estimated to fetch between 200,000 euros and 250,000 euros (£172,170 and £215,210).

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

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

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

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