The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond

The actress’ father purchased the cushion-modified brilliant-cut fancy deep blue diamond, weighing 9.54 carats with VVS2 clarity, in 1940 to commemorate the 12-year-old’s latest film, “The Blue Bird.”  She owned the ring until her death in 2014. Her family put the diamond up for sale, which was predicted to garner 25$ million, but it didn’t find a buyer.

The Windsor Jewelers

That’s when Windsor Jewelers stepped in.  The antiques dealer bought the stone from Temple’s family but decided to make an improvement before putting it back on the market.

The Decision

The stone was shown to some of the best cutters in the world and it was established that there was potential for it to go internally flawless.  Cutting the stone, and slightly lowering the carat weight in the process, was not a decision taken lightly.  Polishing such an important diamond involved an immense amount of challenges and risk.  The stone was thoroughly studied by the cutter and a team of gemologists for weeks before deciding to put this very rare diamond on the wheel.  


The color of a blue diamond, and in some cases, quality, can be drastically changed even with the slightest movement. However, it was decided to go ahead and re-polish the stone to try to improve the clarity.  After many “nerve-wracking months” of polishing that involved several visits and consultations with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) resulted in not only an internally flawless stone – now weighing 9.3 carats—but also a richer blue color.
When it was finally decided to re-cut it, it completely opened the color also. Something that was a good surprise to all involved, nobody expected it to go so blue. Before it was a VVS stone, but when it got rid of the imperfection the color opened up and became bluer than any other stone seen before.

GIA’s Report

In GIA’s current report on the stone, it notes a similarity in color to the famous Hope Diamond and the Wittelsbach-Graff—another blue diamond that was re-cut to improve its clarity—leading experts to believe that all three diamonds might have been mined in a similar area, the Golconda mines of India.

 All three of these stones have a phosphorescent reaction to ultraviolet light. Quite extraordinary!