Elvis Presley: The King of Bling

The King wanted himself a signature ring. So in 1975, Elvis Presley’s personal jeweler, Lowell Hays, delivered one: It was set with onyx and an 11.5 ct. diamond in the center, plus another 3 cts. of diamonds forming lightning bolts and Presley’s TCB (Taking Care of Business) logo. “When he saw it, he flipped out,” recalls Hays. “He said, ‘Even Liberace doesn’t have a ring to equal this. Wait till Sammy Davis Jr. sees this!’?” Presley was so enamored with the piece—seen in this ’76 concert photo—that he sent Hays home with his own brand-new white Lincoln Mark IV. (That was on top of around $50,000 for the ring.) “Elvis was constantly giving away ­jewelry,” says Hays. On a tour stop in Jackson, Miss., the King met a cancer-stricken boy and handed the child the above 14k gold and garnet cross necklace Hays had sold him. “I ­carried a case of jewelry when I traveled on tour,” says the Memphis, Tenn.–based Hays. “I stood beside the stage. Elvis would come over while he was singing, pick a piece, and give it to some young lady in the front row.”

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