Why Jane Fonda Chose a 'Small' Engagement Ring from Ex Ted Turner: 'I Didn't Marry Him for His Money'

And it's going up for auction next month!

Jane Fonda just did a major closet clean out. She’s auctioning off some of her most iconic outfits (and yes, her iconic workout leotard is among them) on September 23 through Julien’s Auctions. Although it’s hard to top the spandex singlet, there are a few other noteworthy pieces on the block, including her wedding dress and engagement ring from her ex-husband Ted Turner. PEOPLE caught up with the actress to talk about each piece. (The backstory of her dress will definitely surprise you!)

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Courtesy Julien's Auctions

Courtesy Julien’s Auctions

She says her high-neck Victorian-inspired long-sleeve dress was actually sitting in her closet years before she wore it to her nuptials. “It’s an antique dress that the costume designer for the movie Rollover that I did [found for me] … She did the costumes and I have several other pieces from that movie for auction,” she says of her 1991 wedding gown. “It was a scene when I was going to Saudi Arabia where a woman has to be totally covered, so we decided to get an antique early American dress — high collar, high neck, floor length. And then she made a white cape that went over it. And I kept it!”


And it ended up being that perfect “something borrowed” piece for her wedding. “When I was planning the marriage to Ted, it was my third marriage so I wasn’t going to go out and buy some expensive dress for a third marriage,” she says. “The marriage took place at a plantation of his in North Florida, and it’s kind of an old-fashioned setting. And I thought, Well, this dress would suit the venue. So I pulled it out of my closet and got Ted a white linen suit.”

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Also up for sale is her engagement ring from her marriage to cable news mogul Turner, an opal stone in 18-carat yellow gold between two round diamonds from Tiffany & Co. in Beverly Hills.

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“When I showed it to my stepmother she looked at it as if to say, You’ve got to be kidding me, you didn’t get him to get you a big diamond? It’s very small, and there are several reasons why I chose a very small ring,” Fonda explains. “First of all, we spent most of our time hunting and fishing, and I would have had to take off a ring every single time I put my gloves on to hunt or fish, so that bothered me having to have to take off a ring. And I was worried someone would chop my hand off. And I didn’t want Ted to think I was marrying him for his money. I basically bought my own stuff when I was with him, I didn’t want him to buy my clothes and stuff.”

Opal rings are thought to be “unsafe” choices for engagement rings (they’re said to bring bad luck) but that didn’t deter Fonda. “Opal is a good luck stone for me, it’s not my birth stone, but it was the birth stone of my half sister and has been a good luck stone for me and I like opals, so we chose a little opal with two little diamonds at each side from Tiffany’s.”

Each piece is estimated to sell between $2,000-$4,000. But we want to know: Are you planning on bidding in the auction? Tell us below!

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