A hush came over the packed Christie's sales room Tuesday evening when the auctioneer announced the sale of the ring, a wide band set with four rows of bell-cut diamonds topped in 18-carat gold.
It sold for $130,000, surpassing a presale estimate of $50,000. The auction house did not disclose the name of the buyer.
Among the other 103 lots, ranging from period jewels and gemstones, a 22.76-carat diamond ring created by the 20th-century American designer JAR was purchased by a private American collector for $1.8 million — the highest price of the night.
Christie's said the film star was "thrilled" with the outcome of the sale, which was held in its largest sales room. "It was a packed room, and a packed, packed phone bank," Christie's said.
The $20.3 million total "makes Ellen Barkin's collection the highest single-owner jewelry sale of the past 15 years in the U.S. and also places it among the top four ever worldwide," Rahul Kadakia, head of Christie's jewelry department, said in a statement.
All prices include the auction house's commission.
Barkin and Perelman married in 2000 and divorced six years later. The billionaire chairman of Revlon Inc. has a net worth of more than $6 billion.
Barkin is currently filming "Ocean's Thirteen" with George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Her other film credits include "The Big Easy" with Dennis Quaid and "Sea of Love" with Al Pacino.