Papal Jewelry Headed for eBay

Alan Perry, owner of jewelry store Perry's Emporium, displays the papal jewelry Alan Perry, owner of jewelry store Perry’s Emporium, displays the papal jewelry

Two diamond-studded pieces of jewelry donated by Pope Paul VI to the United Nations nearly 50 years ago have found a temporary home in Wilmington.

(By TOM BREEN, Associated Pres – RALEIGH, N.C.) – In the unlikely location of a North Carolina jewelry store near the beach, a lavishly jeweled cross and a ring once owned by Pope Paul VI sit under lock and key, awaiting transfer to an even less familiar venue for symbols of Roman Catholic authority: an eBay auction. The items have turned up at a Wilmington store owned by a Southern Baptist with a flair for self-promotion. It’s the latest stop on a strange journey involving luminaries ranging from UN Secretary General U Thant to Evel Knievel, and which began with Paul VI’s novel decision to allow some of his jewelry to be sold to raise money for charity. One of the items is a pectoral cross, given to clergy who attain the rank of bishop or higher to signify their office. The pope’s donation was a testament to his willingness to engage the contemporary world by de-emphasizing the importance of such regalia.