By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Memphis, Tennessee jeweler Lowell Hays designed this 14-karat gold and diamond ring for Elvis Presley, who later gave it to one of his backup singers, J.D. Sumner. It sold for more than $400,000 at auction over the weekend.
Los Angeles—A buyer apparently couldn’t help falling in love with Elvis’ chunky and bold “Taking Care of Business” ring, setting a new world auction record for a ring once owned by the King.

The piece, auctioned as part of Kruse GWS Auctions’ sale of Hollywood and music memorabilia over the weekend, attracted 31 bids and ultimately pulled in $440,625.

That made it the highest grossing lot in the sale, and the most expensive ring once owned by Elvis Presley ever sold at auction. (The previous record belonged to a horseshoe-shaped ring that went for $204,800.)

Designed according to the singer’s specifications by jeweler Lowell Hays Jr., the 14-karat yellow gold piece features a 7.56-carat VS2 diamond center and diamond accents totaling 2.25 carats.

Just below the center stone are the diamond-set letters “T,” “C” and “B,” which stand for “Taking Care of Business,” the mantra Elvis adopted when he returned to the concert circuit in 1969.

The singer was known for giving away his jewelry.

He gifted this particular piece to friend and backup vocalist J.D. Sumner, lead singer of Sumner & The Stamps, on stage at a concert in Asheville, North Carolina in 1975.

Elvis can be heard in an audio clip from that concert telling the crowd the ring—the first of numerous “TCB” pieces—cost him $40,000, the equivalent of nearly $200,000 today.


Hays, who closed his Memphis, Tennessee jewelry store in 2005, was known as the official jeweler to the King. He also made a TCB necklace and a TLC, or “Tender Loving Care,” necklace.

GWS Auctions called this size 10 TCB ring “arguably the most significant and well-documented piece of Elvis’ jewelry on the planet,” noting that not even Graceland has “a piece of this magnitude.”

It said the ring has never been offered at auction or any kind of public sale.

Sumner, who died in 1998, kept it for years then gave it to Mike Moon, founder of the Elvis Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in the 1980s. It’s been in Moon’s collection ever since.

20201120 Dahl RingThis platinum ring set with 13 carats of diamonds was owned by actress Arlene Dahl, an MGM contract star in the 1950s. It sold for more than $9,000 at the recent “Artifacts of Hollywood & Music” auction.

Kruse GWS Auctions’ “Artifacts of Hollywood & Music” sale closed Saturday.

It featured more than 300 lots of music and movie star memorabilia, like a Louis Vuitton secretary trunk and antique typewriter Marilyn Monroe gifted her third husband, the playwright Arthur Miller, that sold for $51,200 and the late Robin Williams’ striped rainbow suspenders from “Mork & Mindy,” which sold for $2,375.

Other jewelry lots included a size 5 platinum ring owned by ’50s actress Arlene Dahl that features 13 total carats of round and baguette-cut F-G/VS1-VS2 diamonds set in a spiral shape. It sold for more than $9,000.

Muhammad Ali’s Omega watch engraved with “Ali 10/30/1974,” commemorating his victory over George Foreman at the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” event in 1974, went for more than $5,000.

A pair of Bulova watches that belonged to screen legend Greta Garbo sold for more than $1,200.


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