Ruth Madoff’s Engagement Ring Sold to a Stranger for $550,000

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Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's stuff was auctioned off online yesterday as part of an effort to recoup cash for schemed victims, and this time all the intimates were on the block: underwear, socks, engagement rings. And people really wanted them. One Long Island man dropped $1,700 on a collection of monogrammed boxers and hundreds of "gently-used" socks to give to friends and family as awesome holiday novelty gifts. "I don't really know about the boxers," he said sheepishly, after spending over one thousand dollars on them. "I just bought it for the socks." Another Long Island man, 81-year-old real-estate investor John Rodger, bought Madoff's1917 Steinway grand piano for $42,000. "It's a conversation piece," he said, adding that he probably overpaid for it by $7,000, but he didn't even care because, hello, it's Bernie Madoff's piano. The auction raised around $2 million total.

But perhaps the most interesting item for sale was Ruth Madoff's massive, 10.54-karat, emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, which went for double its estimate, at $550,000, to an undisclosed buyer. In 1959, Bernie popped the question to Ruth by gifting her the gaudy piece of jewelry, a shiny symbol of their future life together. And now, some guy has it because "it's just another diamond," the buyer explained. Yep, after all, it's just stuff.

Bernie Madoff's undies go for $1,700 at auction [NYP]

Related: Now You Can Own Bernie Madoff’s Old Crap