Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Judicial Collar Up for Auction, Estimated To Sell for $5K

·3 min read
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images

One of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's iconic judicial collars is now up for auction.

The gold collar made of glass beads, which belonged to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice, will be auctioned off to benefit charity. This will be the first of her classic neckwear to be available for purchase.

"The sale includes 76 personal items including rare, signature fashion pieces, such as lace gloves and two collars, which have never been offered at auction before," a press release from the auction company, Bonhams. While the auction house estimate for the necklace was $5,000, the listing was already up to $50,000 on Saturday, according to the site.

The Bonhams website tells the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg talking to the Washington Post in 2009 about the sartorial challenges of being one of the first two women on the United States Supreme Court: "The standard robe is made for a man because it has a place for the shirt to show, and the tie. [Justice O'Connor and I] thought it would be appropriate if we included as part of our robe something typical of a woman."

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All proceeds from the sale of Ginsburg's items will fund a new endowment benefiting SOS Children's Villages, the world's largest organization dedicated to caring for children without parental care or who are at risk of losing it.

Other items in the sale include a lace collar customized with a quote by her husband Marty Ginsburg: "It's not sacrifice, it's family."

Another auction item is a PEOPLE magazine from 1994 that features a write-up of RGB's appointment to the Supreme Court. According to the auction website, she kept the magazine tabbed with a blue sticker on the page of her own interview, in a prominent place in her chambers.

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Ginsburg's collars have gone down in history as a staple of her Supreme Court style. And there was none more popular than the crystal necklace she received at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in 2012, which she later dubbed her "Dissent Collar."

"This is my dissenting collar. It looks fitting for dissent," Ginsburg said during a 2014 interview with Yahoo about the embellished necklace by Banana Republic.

The piece became so popular that Banana Republic relaunched the 'Dissent Collar' in 2019 with a fresh, new name — the Notorious Necklace.

Ginsburg died Sept. 18, 2020, at the age of 87 from complications of metastatic cancer. An unwavering champion for women's rights and social justice, she was the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court and served for 27 years, from 1993 until her death.

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The late Supreme Court Justice's tombstone was revealed at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. In the tradition of her Jewish faith, the tombstone was unveiled around the justice's first Yahrzeit, or anniversary of death, allowing her loved ones to come together and honor her memory.

Ginsburg is buried with her husband Martin. The gravestone features her title, Associate Justice for the SCOTUS, and the Supreme Court seal.