Elizabeth Taylor was nothing if not a style icon, both on- and off-screen. And everybody knew she loved diamonds; just look at her perfume collection, which included White Diamonds, Brilliant White Diamonds, and Sparkling White Diamonds, as well as Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Emeralds, and Diamonds and Sapphires. Clearly she had a thing for diamonds, and it is further evidenced in her own jewelry collection, which may soon be on the auction block courtesy of Christie’s. Her collection, which is valued at somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, would be a huge draw not only because of her love of rare gems (some jewelers claimed that she knew more about gemology than they did), but also because of the famous name behind them. So what could you expect to see in such a collection?
One well-known item is a ring containing a 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp diamond (of the Vera Krupp estate) that Taylor received as a gift from then-husband Richard Burton (hubby number five) and continued to wear until her death. He also coughed up the famous Taylor-Burton Diamond, a 69.42-carat, pear-shaped beauty that is considered to be flawless (it was originally purchased by Harry Winston at a weight of more than 240 carats before cutting). Burton apparently lost the diamond at auction to Cartier, but later bought it for the astounding price of $5 million. Some people say that if a diamond is too large, it ends up wearing you. But in the case of Elizabeth Taylor, it seems that no stone was big enough to outshine her beauty and personality, including the Taylor-Burton, which she wore in a Cartier setting that featured a string of smaller diamonds. The necklace was sold and re-sold, eventually landing with its current owner, Robert Mouawad, but auctioneers are hopeful that it will find its way back to the block as part of Taylor’s estate sale.
Also in the collection are a diamond-and-ruby Cartier necklace, a diamond-and-crystal lily of the valley brooch from Rex Harrison, and a number of other stunning pieces, all worn and loved by Elizabeth Taylor (thus adding a priceless value to the already hefty collection). If you’d like to know more about Taylor’s famous jewelry collection, check out her coffee-table book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, which catalogues a portion of her legendary collection with gorgeous close-up photography.