Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The next time you look at concert photos of Elvis in his jumpsuits, check out his fingers. You will note that he usually has three or four rings on each hand. Elvis must have really loved rings, but he was also very generous with them and gave many away. Because of that, quite a few have ultimately ended up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. During the past three years alone, thirteen Elvis rings have been offered at ten different auctions.
Diamond Owl Ring:
This ring sold at the first auction I followed, the Gotta Have Rock and Roll Auction in April 2009. Its owner let it go at a time that turned out to be the peak of high demand for Elvis jewelry, as it brought in over $44,000. From that point on, the effects of the economic downturn seems to have made bidders much more cautious, and the winning prices for Elvis rings have steadily declined. This is an outstanding custom-made ring with all those diamonds and a mess of 14KT gold. The Elvis Owl Ring?s value was enhanced by an accompanying 8?x10? color photo of Elvis (with little Lisa on his knee) wearing the ring.
Green Cat?s Eye Ring:
There were two Elvis rings at the Julien?s Summer Sale auction in June 2009. This fabulous green cat?s eye ring went for over $28,000.
Blue Lapis Ring:
Elvis was noted for his generosity to employees, friends and even complete strangers. He gave both rings on auction at Julien?s Summer Sale to Dr. Nick, his personal physician and friend. This gold, diamond and lapis stone ring topped out at over $33,000.
Crystal Opal Ring:
There was another Elvis ring at the next Gotta Have Rock and Roll Auction in March 2010. This time it was a massive 14KT gold vintage ring featuring a beautiful crystal opal surrounded by approximately 1.25ct of diamonds. Elvis bought it from Thunderbird Jewelers in Las Vegas in the early 70s, and he wore it both on and off stage for years. Accompanied by a fuzzy color photo of Elvis wearing it at the Las Vegas Hilton in July 1974, it brought in over $20,000 at the auction.
Onyx and Diamond Ring:
It is unclear if this is a personal ring or a movie ring, because the only supporting photo is a shot of Elvis wearing it in The Trouble With Girls. It went for over $15,000 at the Julien?s Music Icons Auction in June 2010. Elvis gave this gold, diamond and onyx ring to his Memphis Mafia buddy Alan Fortas, but it is now in the hands of a private collector.
Opal and Diamond Ring:
The Ultimate Elvis Auction was presented in Memphis by Heritage Auctioneers during Elvis Week 2010. It contained a treasure trove of Elvis memorabilia, including this stunning opal ring which they proclaimed was one of his favorites. The 24 x 20 mm opal is surrounded by 34 full cut diamonds. It came with a letter of provenance from famed jeweler Lowell Hayes who originally sold it to Elvis. Also included was a five-page appraisal from the Chicago Gem Lab. With all this pedigree, the auction estimate was $50,000, but no one cared to even bid the minimum of $25,000. We will probably see this ring at auction again, but with a lower minimum bid.
Diamond Roundel Ring:
Guerney?s was the third auction company to offer Elvis rings in 2010. In September, this 14KT gold ring with seven diamonds had an estimated winning bid of $30 - $40,000. It came with photographs of Elvis wearing the ring, a history of ownership, and a certificate of authenticity. However, that was not enough to coax the minimum bid out of anyone. The trend toward lower prices for Elvis rings was now very evident.
Julien?s had another chance with an Elvis ring in October 2010. The 14KT cast horse head has two diamonds for the eyes, and the silver horseshoe around its neck contains 18 diamonds. It was designed after Elvis? beloved horse Rising Sun. This time, Julien?s set the starting bid at just $8,000 with an estimate of $12,000. Unfortunately, I failed to follow up quickly enough before auction results were removed from their website, so I don?t know what it went for.
Black Star Sapphire Ring:
In February, 2011, Heritage had their Beverly Hills Signature Music and Entertainment Auction. It featured this large black star sapphire and eight diamonds in a 14KT gold nugget setting. According to the auction catalog, black star sapphire was one of Elvis? favorite stones, and he had many pieces made with it. He gave this ring to tour promoter Tom Hulett who provided a letter of authenticity and several photos of Elvis wearing the ring. It sold for over $13,000.
Navaho Turquoise Ring:
Gotta Have Rock and Roll had a trio of Elvis Rings in its March 2011 auction, including this authentic Native American ring. It has elaborate silver work accented with turquoise and red coral stones. In the early 70s, turquoise rings were very popular, and Elvis had several. One day Elvis realized he had so many and said to Charlie Hodge, ?What am I going to do with so many turquoise rings?? He solved the problem by giving this ring to Charlie. With a letter of provenance from Charlie and a photo of Elvis wearing the ring, it brought 0ver $5,000. This is actually is a hefty price for an Elvis ring with no gold or diamonds in it.
Opal and Gold Ring:
This is the second Elvis ring from the March 2011 auction. It is also the third Opal ring we have looked at in this photo essay, and the auction guide says opals were one of Elvis? favorite stones. It is difficult to see, but there are also a number of small diamonds set in the 14KT gold, and it sold for almost $5,000. Did you notice something wrapped around the shank of this ring. It is a Band-Aid. Elvis had many of his rings sized larger, so he could use Band-Aids to vary which figure he could wear them on. When the market for Elvis collectibles picks up steam again, the new owner of this ring could probably take the Band-Aid off and get $50 for it an auction.
Gold and Blue Lapis Ring:
This ring provides another story illustrating Elvis? amazing generosity. He wore it while performing at the Las Vegas Hilton. One night before a show, Elvis was in the office of Mary Pride on the Hilton staff. She commented on the ring and he gave it to her on the spot. For the auction, she provided a letter of authenticity and a photo of Elvis wearing it, and it brought in nearly $8,000
White Gold, Diamond and Ruby ?Elvis? Ring:
This fantastic ring was part of a special small auction that Heritage conducted for a private individual in April 2011. It has a wonderful story. After one of Elvis? shows at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1975, he was approached by J.D. Summer, leader of Elvis? backing group The Stamps. Summer asked if a family friend and her two daughters could come up to Elvis? penthouse suite. Elvis agreed, and that would be special enough by itself, but things got better. One girl?s first name was Novalene, and Elvis laughed at the fact they both had unusual names. Novalene found Elvis very easy to talk to, and soon they became instant friends. Before the evening ended, Elvis went into his bedroom and came back with this ring. He put the ring on a necklace and put it around her neck. Is that a special gift, or what?
The estimate for this diamond ?Elvis ring was $12,000. Unfortunately, there were no archive results of the special auction, so I don?t know what it went for. My guess is that it was much more than the ones sold during the previous year. It is safe to say that if any ring could reverse the downward trend in prices on Elvis rings, this one would be it.
� 2011 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
Because of the unusual podium, points were scarce this week with many people striking out. Only one person scored podium points: @leighberwick with his 3rd place for de Puniet. How you picked him out Leigh, [...]
Prizes will be awarded as follows:
Top three scorers for the round (not overall) will win a copy of Ring of Fire.
The top two scoring Minellas will [...]
Monday, May 30, 2011
- 12 Official SBK tracks featuring locations all around the world.
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The Superbike World Championship is truly a global event. SBK Superbike World Championshio is a unique experience in motorsports featuring ultra-realistic close up shots of the riders hugging tight turns while their bodies hang inches away from the track. Closely fought battles are guaranteed and unlike MotoGP, Superbike promises these battles will have frequent lead changes.
Rating: (out of reviews)
List Price: $ 29.99
Price: Too low to display
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Aside from being used by Yamaha Factory Racing team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, the red and white livery will also appear on all Yamaha staff and team crew as well as the Yamaha Factory Racing team?s pit box.
A special 50th Anniversary logo is also being used this season, displayed on the 2011 YZR-M1 fuel tank, on all Yamaha Factory Racing Team uniforms, within the pit garage of riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies and also on the Yamaha Factory Racing trucks.
As reported earlier this morning, Valentino Rossi spent the day at Mugello testing the 2012 Ducati Desmosedici GP12. The test had been laid on for Rossi to check the progress of next season's Ducati MotoGP machine, and test the updates made to the machine at the request of himself and teammate Nicky Hayden after the Jerez test back in April. Rossi also got to try out the new surface at Mugello, which he greatly approved of. Looking at the photos from the test (shown below), Mugello's brand new grandstand is also clearly visible, a marked improvement from the old grandstand at the circuit.
Valentino Rossi has completed about 60 laps, under the watchful eye of technical director Filippo Preziosi, who led as always the work of the Ducati test team, involved in the two previous days with Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi .
It is the second test for the rider from Pesaro, which was able not only to check the first new updates Ducati GP12, prepared in accordance with his instructions and those of partner Nicky Hayden, but also to appreciate the new surface of the Tuscan track completely renovated in the month March.
Valentino Rossi: “I’m glad it was a positive test, we have fully exploited the available time because the track conditions, and weather was excellent. The new surface I really enjoyed it, now the bottom is smooth, there are no more those holes that we now know by heart and also the grip is fantastic. I must say I have done a really good job because now you turn here at Mugello, where possible, even better than usual. I am happy to be back here after the test ‘injury last year, why was a great thrill and a good day. This morning we started about eleven completed at the end, sixty laps, a lot’ of miles without problems, either physical or with the GP12. We did all the tests that had planned Filippo (Preziosi) and we are satisfied because, although we are still at an early enough stage, we’re going in the right direction. ”
Filippo Preziosi , Ducati Technical Director: “Today we completed the second day of testing with GP12 Vale, and I must say it’s a strange feeling, but really very beautiful, being here with him at Mugello, a track that has in the past seen many times opponents. We worked on various electronic and other evolutions of the bike for next season, some of which are prepared according to the information we had given Nicky Vale and the first exit, at Jerez, about a month and a half ago.
It was a useful and positive tests that will allow us to proceed further in the development of GP12 for which there are new parts coming for the next test. It ‘s always very nice in terms of technical work with Valentino and we were also lucky with the weather, we got splendid condition. Vale has also appreciated the new surface, we must congratulate the guys at Mugello because they did a good job. ”
Vale has traveled about sixty laps, marking time sull’1’50 “/ 1.49″ high. Pedrosa’s fastest lap during the GP win last year was 1’49 “5 (source of this data: La Gazzetta dello Sport ).
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Carlos Checa dominated the first session of qualifying for the World Superbikes at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, leading the session from his first lap out of the pits and never relinquishing top spot. The Althea Ducati rider ended the day nearly eight tenths ahead of the man in 2nd place, Leon Camier, who was in turn a quarter of a second ahead of his Alitalia Aprilia teammate, Max Biaggi.
The session was run under dry circumstances, though dark clouds had threatened all day. A few drops of rain at the end of the session saw the red and white rain flags get shown with three minutes to go, putting an end to any plans of improvement anyone may have had. With rain forecast for tomorrow, the result of today's qualifying session could determine the pre-selection for Superpole, with several riders, including BMW's Leon Haslam, very lucky to scrape into the top 16.