Shirley Temple blue diamond ring fails to sell at auction

2 min

New York (AFP)

A blue diamond ring given to child star Shirley Temple when she was 12 and estimated to be worth $25-35 million failed to find a buyer at auction, Sotheby's said.

The late American movie legend received the 9.54-carat jewel from her father, who bought it in 1940 for $7,210.

It was the standout piece in an auction Tuesday night of 319 jewels that brought in $29.88 million.

"The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond is an exceptional stone in quality, rarity and provenance. It has been an honor to share its story with collectors, connoisseurs and Temple’s loyal fans over the past few months," the auction house said.

"Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t its night in the salesroom, but we remain fully confident that it will find a buyer."

Temple wore the diamond ring throughout her life, the auction house said.

Temple, who started acting at age three, delighted Depression-era movie-going audiences with her singing, dancing and simple innocence.

In 1935, aged six, she became the youngest person to win an Oscar, receiving a special award for young performers that is no longer handed out. She went on to star in more than 40 feature films, most of them before the age of 12.

Later in life, she served as a diplomat under four presidents, including as US envoy to the United Nations, and ambassador to Ghana and to what was then Czechoslovakia.

Temple died in February 2014 at the age of 85.