When you love jewellery as much as we do it’s always interesting to read about people who have amassed a sizeable collection of jewellery and who better than Elizabeth Taylor and her incredible collection of iconic pieces.
Elizabeth Taylor has always claimed her love affair with jewellery started early on. “My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was her engagement ring. I was hooked!”
In 1945 she bought her first piece of jewellery which was a gold plate and stone brooch as a gift for her mother. As she grew older she acquired some valuable jewelry, but it wasn’t until her marriage to Mike Todd that she began collecting expensive jewellery. He apparently loved showering her with beautiful pieces of jewellery, including a suite of rubies and diamonds by Cartier that he gave her while she was swimming laps in their pool.
Elizabeth acquired some of the world’s most important pieces of jewellery during her two marriages to Richard Burton. Richard would, according to Elizabeth “use any excuse” to surprise her with a piece of jewellery and together they acquired pieces from the Grand Duchess Vladimir Suite, the Krupp Diamond, La Peregrina Pearl and the infamous Taylor-Burton diamond.
Richard Burton purchased the 69.42 carat, inch thick diamond from Cartier for $1.1 million, making it the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Elizabeth originally wore it as a ring, but, because of its large size, later decided to have Cartier suspend it from a £40,000 necklace.
The Taj Mahal Indian table-cut diamond was the other gift from Burton. It's on a ruby-and-gold chain by Cartier. A Cartier representative called Burton saying he had something special for him and to meet at JFK airport. Burton flew there, saw the piece and bought it on the spot
Her incredible collection of jewellery was sold at auction at Christie’s in 2011 fetching $116m and the sales was hailed by Christie’s as "one of the most extraordinary sales" they had ever held. Here is a link to the pieces sold in the auction: http://www.christies.com/elizabethtaylor/saleroom.aspx
We could talk all day about her love of jewellery and the beautiful pieces in her collection but why not read more from the woman herself in her wonderful book Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewellery.