Sotheby's Auction of Dame Shirley Bassey's Jewels to Benefit Her Charities

Dame Shirley Bassey, who famously sang the title song from the 1971 James Bond/007 blockbuster film Diamonds Are Forever, soon will be parting with many of her own jewels — but it's all for a good cause.

The 87-year-old Welsh singer will be putting more than 80 pieces on the auction block at Sotheby's Paris to benefit her favorite charities. According to Sotheby's, every jewel in the sale represents a particular moment in Bassey’s life, as well as iconic performances.

Bassey has always been excited to talk about her life-long love affair with fine jewelry, especially diamonds.

“I fell in love with jewelry when I first discovered natural pearls as an up-and-coming singer, and I bought myself my first string of pearls – the first piece of jewelry I’d ever bought," Bassey told "However, I quickly graduated to my lifelong passion for diamonds, which preceded the recording of 'Diamonds Are Forever.'"

She explained that she accepted the offer to sing the title track because the lyrics "rang true" to her: "Diamonds never lie to me / For when love's gone, they'll luster on / Diamonds are forever, forever, forever."

Among the diamond jewelry to be featured at the October 10 auction in Paris are three of Bassey's favorites:

The heart-shaped yellow diamond ring, shown here, carries a pre-sale estimate of EUR 165,000 to EUR 200,000 ($180,000 to $218,000).

This impressive diamond necklace featuring 52 graduated stones is expected to sell in the range of EUR 270,000 to EUR 320,000 ($294,000 to $348,000)

Sotheby's believes this emerald and diamond necklace designed by Van Cleef & Arpels should attract bids from EUR 60,000 to EUR 70,000 ($65,000 to $76,000). Bassey noted that she bought the emerald jewelry (seen here) for herself to commemorate her very first Royal Variety Performance in front of the late queen, Elizabeth II. Sotheby's preview doesn't mention an estimate for the earrings.

“Collecting jewelry for me is like collecting memories, and this collection is full of them,” said Bassey. “All the pieces are meaningful and have a story to tell, whether I bought them for myself or they were gifted to me. There is this beautiful 1960s vintage Van Cleef & Arpels ring covered in white diamonds that Elton John gave me after I sang at one of his AIDS gala evenings, and which I’ve worn so many times."

King Charles recently named Bassey a "Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour," one of the top awards in Britain, for her services to music.

Highlights from Bassey's jewelry collection will be on exhibit at Sotheby’s London from May 24-29 and at Sotheby’s Paris from October 4 until the auction on October 10.

Credits: Jewelry images courtesy of Sotheby's. Shirley Bassey image by Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.