A Pope's diamonds, once owned by Evel Knievel, are heading for eBay.
If it sounds like the punchline to an overworked joke, or just the rantings of a stoner, that's understandable. But it appears to be true.
The elaborately jewelled cross and ring are thought to have been owned by Pope Paul VI, who sold some of his religious regalia for charitable purposes. The items then passed through a number of famous hands including U Thant of the United Nations and even daredevil Evel Knievel.
Now the items have been brought into the jewellery emporium of Alan Perry, a Southern Baptist, who decided that the fairest way of finding out the value of the items is to put them on eBay.
According to the descriptions on the site, the ring is "enormous with a 12.75ct diamond solitaire, surrounded by over 6ct of diamonds".
The Pectoral Cross, which is awarded to Catholics who reach the status of bishop or higher, is described as "Breathtaking. The main 12 diamonds are over 60ct tdw. There are hundreds of smaller diamonds and emeralds, surrounding them."
The items remain in the original case with the red velvet bag it came in. They were donated by Pope Paul VI to the United Nations in 1965, to be sold and the money used for humanitarian purposes.
This set has been owned by: Chicago jeweller Harry Levinson, the original buyer, as well as Evel Knievel, and their worth as both jewellery and memorabilia make them strong investments. The online auction, which offers the items with a closes on April 21st.
For a week before then, Perry is showing them under armed guard, presumably in his North Carolina emporium.
Papal collectibles certainly have their adherents. We offered a top five list some months back, and since then asmallpieceofhistory.com has started offering pieces of the red carpet that Pope Benedict XVI walked on outside Westminster Cathedral on his visit to the UK.
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