Elvis Auction - Ginger's Ring Controversy

The auctions with Elvis memorabilia are following each other in a fast tempo. The renovated American auction house Heritage Auctions organises several auctions each year with large lots of entertainment memorabilia. On November 5, 45 Elvis related items will be offered for auction. There are no real big eay catchers this time. The item with the highest estimated value is a diamond ring Elvis gave to his girlfriend Ginger Alden. According to Ginger, it is her engagement ring. Elvis entourage denies this, because he would have no plans to ask Ginger to marry him. Despite this, it still is a beautiful piece of jewelry, with an estimated value of $30,000 (€20.000). 

Despite Ginger's claim, it appears the ring being offered for sale is not what is claimed. On the picture, you can see the ring that is in the auction (on the right) and the engagement ring (on the left).

The story behind the ring:

About 1 o'clock in the morning the phone rang...it was Elvis. It was very unusual for him to call me that late. He said, "Lowell, I need an engagement ring. I want to give Ginger Alden an engagement ring tonight." He said, "I want a diamond exactly like the one in the middle of my TCB ring." I was still half-asleep and I told him, "I don’t have one and nobody else is going to have one either." He argued with me for a while and then he said, "Well I’ll find one somewhere else." Then he hung up. I went back to sleep. About 30 minutes later the phone rang again. It was Elvis again. He said, "Lowell, you've got to have a ring tonight for Ginger. What am I going to do?" I said, "Well, I can make a phone call or two to New York. That's the only place I know to find a diamond that size." I told him if I could find one, we could take the jet to New York and bring the diamond back here. He said that would be great. "Let's see if we can do it". So I called a couple of diamond dealers I knew in New York. I woke them up in the middle of the night, told them the dilemma, and both of them said there is no way a diamond of that size is not going to be in a vault. The vaults are all on timers in banks and there is no way we can get a diamond that size. So I called him back and told him the bad news, and I think he accepted it.

I was laying there thinking about what he wanted. Was there any other way I could think of to do it? It dawned on me that if he wanted a diamond just like the one in the TCB ring, why don’t we use that diamond tonight and replace the diamond in the TCB ring next week before he goes on his next tour. So I called him back and told him of the new idea to get Ginger her ring. Well, it was just exactly what he wanted. So I drove to Graceland, picked up the TCB ring, and went back to my jewelry shop. I sat down, removed it from the TCB ring, and made a mounting to fit it with three diamonds on each side. I set the big diamond in the center of it, sized it to Ginger’s finger, and then drove back to Graceland with it. I got there just after daylight. On January 26th, he gave Ginger the ring, and then on January 28th he bought additional jewelry for her to complete her engagement gifts.

Source: ElvisMatters / Updated: Oct 28, 2009 
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Reactions

JeffSchrembs (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 16, 2010report abuse
So sad that after Elvis died there was a claim against the Estate, by Ginger's Mother concerning a home and upgrades/repairs, and that started the "public outcry" against her and her family along with claims that were unsubstanciated (i.e. they were going to get married, etc.). Having read what was available from the legal proceedings it seems like Elvis did authorize the repairs but that they were not paid for from the Estate as there was no provision in the will allowing for it nor was there any written/contractual signed documents. Clearly, Elvis cared for Ginger and their age difference was substancial. It MUST be difficult for her to have to sell these items because of the sentiments attached to them but bills have to be paid.

I have always wondered how Elvis would have viewed all of these personal items, how they got into "so and so hands", being sold and then resold. Even though my collection is massive I have always made it a point never to buy anything that I thought Elvis would not have approved of. Some things are "black and white" and some are "gray" but nonetheless in many respects Ginger has gotten blasted for many things and it had to be tough on her then and now to have lost the man she was in love with AND believed were building a future together. I would hope that Elvis Fans Worldwide would acknowledge this and continue to convey their opinions while being respectful of the person who Elvis loved/cared for and was the last to see him and/to speak to him alive. AND she (sadly) saw him dead. For that reason alone she should be given some type of "break" and more fans need to express their support for what she endured.

Lastly, when I think about Elvis and all that has happened all these years afterward I believe that he would not be as "forgiving" seeing how much Ginger, Marty, Lamar, etc. and many members of the Memphis Mafia have been attacked. Life is TOO SHORT and that is a lesson that, among many, that we all should take away from Elvis life. Take care and God bless. Your friend in Elvis,
Jeff Schrembs
gdowell (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 29, 2009report abuse
Just to clarify: Heritage is not offering this as an engagement ring from Elvis. When the catalog copy was originally written it was incorrectly described as such due to a miscommunication between the consignment director and the cataloger. We spoke directly we Ginger and she asked that the description be corrected; this was done immediately, on Sept. 30, two weeks before the catalog was printed and internet pre-bidding began. The correct description of the item can be viewed on the Heritage Auctions website. Hope this helps clear up the confusion.

Sincerely,

Gary Dowell
Cataloger - Consignment Director
Heritage Auctions
1-800-872-6467 ext. 1193
I am Buffalo-Horn! (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2009report abuse
Is the answer to this puzzle in the last sentence? – "On January 28th he bought additional jewelry for her to complete her engagement gifts" Is the ring Ginger is now selling one of the additional items of jewelry she was given later? We've read this account of Lowell Hayes making the ring for Elvis before, so what is certain is that the ring currently for sale is certainly not the one made for Elvis to give her as an 'engagemen't ring!

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