The 10.5-carat diamond engagement ring that Bernard Madoff gave to his future wife has garnered the highest price at an auction of thousands of belongings from the fallen financier's New York City penthouse.
Ruth Madoff's ring sold for $550,000 on Saturday, topping the $300,000 minimum pre-sale estimate.
Her French diamond earrings fetched the next highest price. Valued at $100,000 to $137,500, they went for $135,000 to an undisclosed buyer.
The U.S. Marshals Service is selling disgraced financier's personal items during a live and online auction on Nov. 13 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in Manhattan.
None of the goods are actually at the hotel, but bidding takes place in person or online at www.txauction.com.
A Steinway grand piano from Madoff's living room went for $42,000 -- six times the minimum estimate of $7,000. The buyer was an 81-year-old Long Island real estate executive.
The former Wall Street trader's leather bull foot stool -- including a detached tail -- fetched $3,300.
"I tend to go for the art deco pieces the platinum art deco pieces that Mrs. Madoff was a fan of. I don’t know how she was able to amass such a collection but for one person it is definitely very impressive," said jewelry buyer Dan Risis.
Another interested buyer said it was the notoriety that drew him to the auction. “I work in banking. I’ve worked in restructuring and liquidation for some time. I’ve had clients who have been involved in the Madoff case. It is just something of personal interest to bid and see if I can get something unique," said Omar Mirza of Melbourne, Australia.
One of the most expensive items expected to sell is a dimaond ring.
When Madoff was arrested two years ago, U.S. marshals seized everything he owned -- including his worn socks and monogrammed new boxer shorts, also for sale.
Federal authorities seized Madoff's property and assets after his massive Ponzi scheme was exposed. All proceeds will benefit Madoff's wronged investors.
Last year, an auction of hundreds of other Madoff items brought $1 million.
Madoff is serving 150 years in prison.