Paul Belard’s latest 250-page photo-journal ‘Elvis The King of the Rings Volume 1’ has been published.
Elvis liked expensive things: cars, motorcycles, clothes, and jewelry. His jewels befitted a king. He wore sumptuous pendants hung on heavy gold chains; huge and lavish rings set with rubies, sapphires, lapis lazuli, and emeralds; bracelets of gold and precious gems. Like Elvis himself, they were at times dazzlingly tasteful and beautiful, and at other times flashy and ostentatious. Occasionally, he would design the jewels himself, such as the famous TCB – Taking Care of Business – pendant and ring.
He loved to give his possessions away to people close to him, as well as to complete strangers. The value of the item was of no concern to him. An expensive horseshoe ring was designed by Memphis jeweller Lowell Hayes, specifically for Elvis to wear on stage during his televised Aloha from Hawaii performance in 1973. Elvis gave the ring away a few years later. It eventually sold at auction in 2017 for $204,800.
I always wondered why Elvis was giving away so many of his things? Yes, he was rich. He had everything he could want. But plenty of well-to-do people do not give anything away. As a matter of fact, for some enough is never enough. So I remained puzzled. Then I read a book by David Brooks, a journalist and columnist for the New York Times. He offered the thought that happiness that comes from accumulation is fleeting. But but there is another emotion, he calls it joy, that comes from helping others. He writes: “Happiness comes from accomplishments; joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude and hope.”
The singer Robert Goulet described Elvis’ penchant for generosity: “I remember once we sat together backstage for two hours. And he was a charming, delightful man. And at one point I said, “That’s a beautiful ring you have there.” He said “You like it?” I said, “It’s beautiful!” He took it off his hand and put it on mine. He gave me his ring.”