Antique & Estate Jewelry / Blogs: All That Glitters

Steve McQueen’s Anniversary Gift for First Wife Heads to Auction


Jewelry from the personal collection of Filipino American actress and singer Neile Adams, first wife of the late movie star Steve McQueen, will be in Bonhams’ California Jewels sale on Feb. 13.

“The first California Jewels sale of 2024 includes some extraordinary jewelry with exceptional stones and exquisite craftsmanship,” said Emily Waterfall, director of the auction house’s jewelry department in Los Angeles. “We are honored to present the collection of Neile Adams McQueen, which embodies her taste and discernment as a collector and celebrates such a spectacular figure in entertainment history.”

Adams and McQueen wed just four months after meeting in 1956, and were married until 1972. A ring with a nearly 6 ct. light yellow diamond that McQueen gave Adams on their 13th wedding anniversary is one of the 13 lots from Adams in the Bonhams auction. Some of them are pictured here.

McQueen yellow diamond ring
Ring in platinum with 5.92 ct. pear-shape brilliant-cut fancy light yellow diamond and tapered baguette diamonds, estimate $25,000–$35,000
McQueen platinum ring
Ring in platinum, signed “Monture Cartier,” with a 3.8 ct. old European cut diamond, estimate $25,000–$35,000
Mcqueen set
Necklace and earring set in 18k yellow gold and enamel with old mine cut diamonds, estimate $4,000–$6,000
McQueen ring
Ring in platinum with 1.8 cts. t.w. rectangular and square step-cut rubies and 2.45 cts. t.w. round and baguette diamonds, estimate $1,500–$2,500
McQueen cross
Pendant in 14k gold with 3.6 cts. t.w. old mine cut diamonds, estimate $2,000–$3,000
McQueen amethyst ring
Raymond Yard ring in platinum with a 31.5 ct. cushion-cut amethyst and 1.3 cts. t.w. half-round, single-cut, baguette, and modified baguette diamonds, estimate $2,000–$3,000

The Feb. 13 California Jewels sale will include more than 300 lots in addition to those from Neile Adams McQueen. They include significant gemstones and top designer names. Below are a few highlights.

diamond ring
Ring in 14k white gold with 6.89 ct. emerald-cut natural diamond, estimate $120,000–$180,000
Tiffany ring
Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. ring in 18k gold and platinum with 10.8 ct. rectangular cushion-cut color-change sapphire and 2.05 round and marquise-shape diamonds, estimate $20,000–$30,000
Hammerman Brothers bracelet
Hammerman Brothers bracelet (circa 1980) in 18k gold with 15.8 cts. t.w. pavé round diamonds, estimate $15,000–$25,000

Top: Neile Adams and Steve McQueen at home around 1958 (photo by Curt Gunther/courtesy of Neile Adams Collection; other photos courtesy of Bonhams)

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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