Actress Kim Basinger has sold her 3.7 carat diamond engagement ring from ex-husband Alec Baldwin for $59,750 (GBP33,194).

The 8 MILE star, a noted animal rights activist, auctioned the modern Tiffany + CO ring and some other jewellery at CHRISTIE'S to raise money for THE PERFORMING ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY.

The group runs a California refuge for abused, retired and surplus elephants, lions, bears and other captive wildlife.

The engagement ring, estimated to fetch between $30,000 (GBP16,600) and $40,000 (GBP22,200), was the top-priced item in the auction.

The only other gift on offer from actor Baldwin - whose nine-year marriage to Basinger ended in 2002 - was a multigem necklace which went for $20,315 (GBP11,286).

Christie's had predicted it would fetch $8,000 (GBP4,400) to $10,000 (GBP5,500).

YOSSI DINA of SOUTH BEVERLY WILSHIRE JEWELRY + LOAN, who says his clients include George Hamilton, Liza Minnelli and Winona Ryder, estimates he paid 30 per cent more than the ring was worth.

He says, "I got it for a fan. They'll pay crazy money for that."

21/04/2004 02:29