Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewellery Sets a World Record at Auction

Elizabeth Taylor‘s iconic jewellery was auctioned at Christie’s in New York last month for prices which exceeded all expectations. When the hammer went down for the last time that night, the auction had accumulated a record breaking £74,196,480, the world record for most valuable private collection of jewels ever sold at an auction.

In her book My Love Affair with Jewellery, Elizabeth Taylor wrote that she “never, never thought of my jewellery 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.”

And that’s exactly what happened. First lot from Taylor’s collection was a gold and gem bracelet, which went for £208,960 (estimated at £16,000 – £21,000).  Fifty or so items later, the Taj Mahal ruby and gold chain by Cartier was sold for £5,643,840, and set the world record for an Indian Jewel, by breaking its estimated price of £190,000 by twenty times.

Then came the La Peregrina necklace, a diamond, ruby and pearl rope with one of the finest pearls in the world hanging off a 16th century pear-shaped silver pendant. The necklace was sold for £7,579,200, which was followed by an exciting round of applause by the auctioneers, who were all anxiously awaiting to get a glimpse of the item to come – the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond.

The 33.29 carat Asscher-cut diamond ring was without a doubt the star of the show. It was given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton in 1968, and she wore it nearly every day. The monstrous in size diamond fetched £5,643,840, bought by an anonymous lucky lady.

“This is without a doubt the greatest private collection of jewellery ever assembled in one place, and Christie’s is honoured to have been entrusted with the global tour of the collection this fall, and the sale of the collection in its entirety this December,” said Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie’s Americas.

Interestingly, Elizabeth Taylor’s clip earring collection found incredible interest. For example these Gold Topped Aluminium Ear Clips by JAR Paris…

Elizabeth Taylor's Gold Ear Clips

Elizabeth Taylor’s Gold Ear Clips (©Christies)

…were estimated at $1,000 – $1,500. They sold for $37,500! Elizabeth wore both pierced and clip on earrings, often letting the beauty of the design be the deciding factor as to which she wore. If you were going to make your jewellery collection and heirloom, what would you put into it?

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