On Dec. 4 at its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York City, Sotheby’s will auction off items from the jewelry collection of Frank Sinatra’s wife Barbara—including the 20.6-ct. diamond engagement ring (pictured) the singer gave his then wife-to-be in 1976.
The emerald-cut ring, which Frank gave his wife in a glass of champagne, carries an estimated value of $1 million to $1.5 million.
According to the Las Vegas Desert-Sun, Sinatra’s proposal was a little unusual. After a four-year romance, Barbara told the music legend that if he didn’t propose, she would leave him.
He was performing in Chicago while she was playing in a tennis tournament in Las Vegas. When she was done with the tournament, she was greeted at her hotel by a driver who took her to the airport and then to Chicago.
She went to his suite and found it covered with flowers. The man who once sang “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” placed a large diamond and emerald on the bed and said, “You can have these set here in Chicago.” She had the diamond set into an engagement ring.
“He decided to give it to me in champagne,” she told the newspaper. “He said, ‘Put it on,’ and I said, ‘No, you put it on,’ and I [extended my fingers]. I wanted to see if he’d put it on the right finger. And he did.”
Born Barbara Blakely, Barbara Sinatra was married to Frank for 22 years until his death in 1998. It was her third marriage and his fourth, though the final union for both. A former showgirl, she was previously married to Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers.
She eventually came into her own as a socialite and philanthropist. She died last year at age 90. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center.
(Image courtesy of Sotheby’s)