Burton’s Beloved

In her book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, Elizabeth Taylor wrote, “I never, never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I’m here to take care of them and to love them. When I die and they go off to auction I hope whoever buys them gives them a really good home.”

Well, Elizabeth, we have a feeling your wish has come true.

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection set a world record last night for the most valuable private jewelry collection sold at auction, fetching nearly $116M ($115,932,000 to be exact). And it’s not even over yet!

Last night’s Evening Sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s legendary jewelry set five records for jewelry sold at auction. Not surprisingly, all the record-breaking pieces were gifts from Elizabeth’s husband, Richard Burton. (The man had good taste.) Here are the five miraculous pieces:

  • The 50-carat La Peregrina necklace, thought to be one of the finest pearls in the world, was estimated at $2- $3 million. Burton purchased it for $37,000 and it sold for $11,842,500.
  • The Taj Mahal ruby and gold chain by Cartier set a new world record for an Indian jewel. Given to Elizabeth for her 40th birthday, the necklace was estimated at $300,000-$500,000. It sold for $8.8 million.
  • The sapphire and diamond Sautoir by Bulgari, also a gift from Burton to Elizabeth on her 40th birthday, was estimated at $600,000-$800,000. It sold for $5.9 million.
  • The 8.24-carat Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ring estimated at $1-$1.5 million, set a world record for price per carat for a ruby. This ring was given to Elizabeth as a Christmas present in 1968. The price was realized at $4.2 million.
  • The highlight of the night, the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond — a 33.29 carat Asscher-cut ring given to her by Burton in 1968 — blew away its estimate of $2.5-$3.5 million. It sold for $8,818,500 setting a record for highest price per carat for a white diamond.

Phew. If those numbers don’t make your head spin, then we don’t know what will. However, to ease our minds a bit, it is nice to know that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Now, if all this talk of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds has to itching for some precious gems this holiday, we have a few substitutes that may hold you over. Our Penelope Ring set with a ruby center-stone mimics the diamond halo effect of Elizabeth’s ruby ring. Also, our ring is an emerald-cut diamond, similar to the Asscher-cut of the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. While these gems will never compare to Elizabeth’s magnificent stones, the idea of designing a piece of jewelry just for you, or someone you love, fulfills Elizabeth’s ideal of cultivating a meaningful jewelry collection.

Maybe your gems will sell for millions one day. Hey, a girl can dream.

Photo Credit: Reuters, Getty Images


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