December 11, 2021 Rock & Roll, Entertainment, Sports and Americana
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/11/2021

Offered is Elvis Presley's stage worn 14-karat yellow gold ring featuring seven (7) sizable diamonds weighing almost 2 carats, and with a total weight of 48 grams. The diamonds are arranged in loose nugget-style setting, a favorite of Elvis’. The ring, size 10, is stamped on the interior band “14K” and comes with a copy of a notarized letter from J.D. Sumner dated October 30, 1979 that states in part, “One of the first gifts the late Elvis Presley ever gave to J.D. Sumner was a personal gold wristwatch, accented by 25 of the most perfect diamonds in the world, and a ring to match it. This was in 1972, Elvis, as he often did when he felt generous, took the watch off and handed it to J.D. He walked to his jewelry box, reached in for the gold ring, made especially to match the watch, and said, ‘Here take this ring, also, it goes with the watch’. The ring is a heavy gold nugget that looks like a rock. It has seven diamonds in it.” The matching watch mentioned in this letter was a custom diamond studded Ebel watch ordered by Elvis. THE PHOTO AT RIGHT SHOWS BOTH ELVIS AND J.D. SUMNER WEARING THE RING. Additionally, in the image gallery to the left are several other photos likley showing Elvis wearing this distinctively large, gold nugget ring.

With regularly scheduled appearances, Elvis spent a lot time in the 1970s in Las Vegas. This period ushered in many new iconic trends for Elvis, from his famous jumpsuits to his bejeweled accessories. During the early to mid-70s, capes became a standard component of his jumpsuits and he would embellish his outfits with a multitude of rings, many of which were in the gold nugget style. Elvis would often acquire several rings in the same style, as he was as prone to giving them away as he was to wearing them on and off stage. One person that was often the recipient of his generosity was J.D. Sumner, his friend and the leader of the Stamps Quartet, Elvis’ backup band in the ‘70s.

Elvis was only 16 when he first heard J.D.’s powerful voice. Over the years the two developed a strong bond and in 1971 Elvis hired J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet as his backup band and they toured with Elvis throughout the United States in the ‘70s. In addition to touring with Elvis through his last concert on June 26, 1977, J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet were also featured on most of Elvis’ studio recordings from 1972 through 1977. Often Elvis would sing and practice gospel hymns in his time off, and even on stage he was known to sing a gospel song with J.D. and the Stamps Quartet. Elvis maintained a special and close friendship with J.D. Sumner and the pair enjoyed many years together creating music that has remained popular for generations.

Also included with the ring is a copy of a bill of sale, signed by J.D. Sumner, listing five items sold to Mike Moon by J.D. Sumner in November 1979. The last item listed is “One Gold Man’s Nugget Ring with 7 diamonds.” This notarized bill of sale confirms the sale of four rings and one watch to Mike Moon for ten dollars. The selling price makes sense in the context of the relationship between the two men (and the context of J.D.'s tax return). Mike Moon was inspired to collect after his good friend J.D. Sumner introduced him to Elvis backstage in the 1970s. It was during this meeting that Mike complimented Elvis on an accessory he was wearing, and Elvis proceeded to give it to Mike. Touched by this generous gesture, Mike became passionate about collecting all things Elvis. Mike Moon created a museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee dedicated to Elvis memorabilia. The provenance of this handsome gold and diamond ring that was owned by Elvis, gifted to J.D. and then sold to Mike Moon is solid in the transference of ownership from one friend to the next.

The ring also comes with a letter from “EP Archives” of Las Vegas, Nevada that states in part, “This 14k heavy nugget ring with 7 brilliant diamonds was purchased and worn by Elvis Presley. He wore this in the mid 70s before giving it to JD Sumner. JD was one of Elvis’ closest friends whom he knew since the 50s.” The letter further confirms the ring’s acquisition from the Mike Moon collection in the summer of 2018. The stunning diamond ring is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated (quoted here). The ring presents in Excellent to Mint condition.

1970s Elvis Presley’s 14k Gold and Large Diamond Stage Ring Gifted to JD Sumner - LOA from Graceland Authenticated - Former Mike Moon Collection
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $20,000
Final prices include buyers premium: $51,750
Estimate: $40,000 - $50,000
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Saturday, December 11, 2021.
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