In November, we told you about the upcoming auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewel collection. For years, her collection had been famous for the number of spectacular, show-stopping pieces it contained.
In mid-December, the auction of her jewelry collection amassed a record-setting $115 million. Pieces from Cartier, Bulgari and Van Cleef-Arpels were among the many treasures which, when combined, broke seven world records once the bidding ended and the dust settled.
This included a 33-carat diamond ring known as “The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond” which sold for $8.8 million. Originally a gift from Taylor’s two-time husband Richard Burton, this diamond was originally purchased in 1968 for $303,000. This set a new per-carat record for colorless diamonds. The original owner of the diamond is believed to be Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.
“La Peregrina” sold for $11.8 million and set the record for highest price for a single item. A pear-shaped pearl dating back to the 16th century, La Peregrina was once worn by Mary Tudor and later by queens Margarita and Isabel of Spain. This was also a gift from Burton, who originally purchased the pearl for $37,000 back in 1969 and commissioned Cartier to design a pearl, diamond and ruby necklace in which to mount it.
Along with pieces from various husbands, Taylor’s collection included pieces given to her by friends. A diamond bracelet given to her by Michael Jackson sold for $194,500, and a sapphire and diamond ring went for $600,000. The bulk of the proceeds from this auction will go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
What do you think about the auction? Do you think the pieces were worth the prices they fetched?