Jeweler Auctioning Papal Items on EBay

North Carolina jeweler Alan Perry is auctioning the papal
ring and pectoral cross
that Pope Paul VI donated to the United Nations in 1965
on eBay. ??

Perry, the owner of Perry’s Emporium in Wilmington, N.C.,
tells JCK the pope donated the jewelry to the U.N. on his first visit to
America, intending that the items be auctioned off to benefit charity.

Harry Levison and reportedly Evil Knievel once owned the
pieces, until they were sold to the current owner. “The widow of the owner
asked me if I would help her sell it,” Perry says. “She had it in New York for
three or four years but didn’t have luck selling it.”

The cross and the ring have a starting bid of $850,000 and
Perry estimates the pieces could go for up to $900,000. Perry says the pieces
were appraised for more than $1 million a few years ago.

“There are 1,922 people watching it on eBay and the number
keeps growing. I check it every few hours,” Perry says.

Both pieces are on display at Perry’s Emporium April 14–23.
Perry took a rider on the jewelry through Jeweler’s Mutual and says part of the
condition is an armed guard has to be on hand when the pieces are on display.

“It’s pretty great for a little town in North Carolina to
have something this historical,” Perry says.

Photos courtesy of David Heuring

Pope Paul VI was head of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963
to 1978. “A couple of churches have called and they will be bringing busloads
of people to see it,” he says.

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