By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
The first “TCB” ring designed and worn by Elvis Presley, and later given to his friend and backup singer J.D. Sumner, heads to auction at GWS this month.
Los Angeles—GWS Auctions is taking care of business this month.

At its “Artifacts of Hollywood and Music” auction, slated for Nov. 28, the company will put a ring on the auction block once owned by Elvis Presley and given to J.D. Sumner, lead singer of his backup quartet in the 1970s, Sumner & The Stamps.

The piece is the first “TCB” ring Presley designed, symbolizing the King’s personal mantra—“Taking Care of Business”—he took up when he returned to the concert circuit in 1969.

Presley was known for giving away his jewels almost as much as he wore them, be it to friends, colleagues or fans, and this one was no exception—he gave the ring to Sumner on stage in front of an audience of 14,000 people in 1975 after years of wearing it himself.

The custom-made 14-karat yellow gold piece features raised “TCB” letters and lightning bolt designs on each side, all of which are lined with diamonds.

Above the “TCB” is a large cubic zirconia where the original 7.56-carat VS2 round brilliant-cut diamond was set, surrounded by a diamond halo of 2.25 carats, making the total carat weight of the piece 9.81 carats. 

The diamond was removed for grading and insurance purposes but comes with the ring, as does its GIA report.

Included in the lot are a letter and sketches from jeweler Lowell Hayes, and audio of Presley talking about the ring on stage.


According to the auction house, the piece has never been offered at auction or for public sale. It’s been in the collection of Mike Moon, once owner of the Stamps Quartet and founder of the Elvis Museum, since Sumner gave it to him in the early ‘80s.

Online bidding for lots has already begun, and as of Thursday, the highest bid for the ring was $80,000.

GWS said the Artifacts of Hollywood and Music auction is the largest entertainment memorabilia sale in its history, comprising more than 300 lots and some of its biggest names.

20201120 Dahl Ring

Other notable lots are the diamond and platinum spiral ring pictured above, featuring 13 total carats and owned by American actress Arlene Dahl; Muhammad Ali’s Omega watch engraved “Ali 10/30/1974,” commemorating his victory over George Foreman at The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974; and a pair of Bulova watches that belonged to Greta Garbo.

It will also offer Presley’s 1975 FLH 1200 Harley Davidson, which he drove around Graceland, and the personal contents of his Hollywood home including furnishings, art, glassware, clothing, games, and many other personal items.

The auction will also feature archive recordings of more than 700 hours of performances from Woodstock once owned by producer Eric Blackstead, a Van Halen MTV Music Award, and the prototype guitar from a custom collaboration between Eric Clapton and Strings and Things Music Store in Memphis, Tennessee.

To see all lots, visit GWSAuctions.com.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 25 to reflect the correct total carat weight of the piece.


Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.