Elizabeth Taylor's iconic jewelry collection is going up on the auctioning block in December and more details have emerged about the pieces up for grabs.
The actress had passion for diamonds and jewels, many of which were given to her by the great loves of her life. Taylor amassed one of the foremost jewelry collections in the world, including a 33.19 carat diamond ring and a 16th century pear-shaped pearl from one of her seven husbands, Richard Burton. He purchased it for Taylor in 1969 as a Valentine's Day gift.
The pair had met in Italy on the set of the 1963 film "Cleopatra," and married for the first time in 1964. When the pearl went up for auction in New York, Burton nabbed it for $37,000, outbidding a member of the Spanish Royal family. It is estimated to sell for $2 million to $3 million.
Christie's auction house is selling her complete jewelry collection, valued at $30 million, in New York from December 13-14, reports the Associated Press.
The Hollywood film legend died of congestive heart failure at age 79 on Wednesday, March 23, and was laid to rest a day later at a private memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Los Angeles. Taylor became as famous for her love affairs as she was for her movie roles in films like "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" She was married eight times to seven husbands, including twice to Burton.
Taylor was also engaged to William Pawley, Jr. Pawley, the son of a wealthy American businessman and ambassador, who was recently revealed as her first fiance. Over 60 love letters written by Taylor to Pawley were put up for auctionin May.
"These are the top jewels that Elizabeth Taylor received from the great loves of her life, Mike Todd and Richard Burton," said Christie's jewelry expert Rahul Kadakia told the wire service. "They're from moments in life that were very dear to her."
In 2002, Taylor wrote a memoir titled, "My Love Affair with Jewelry," in which she described the journey of her collection and how she came to own each piece.
"I never, never thought of my jewelry as trophies," she wrote. "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."
Also up for auction is the asscher-cut 33.19-carat diamond set in a platinum ring Burton purchased for Taylor in 1968 at a New York auction for $305,000. It is commonly known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond and is expected to fetch $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
The actress' most prized possessions will also go on tour in September, stopping in Moscow, London, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong and Los Angeles before going up for auction. The collection will then arrive in New York where an exhibition will take place from December 3-10.
A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition admissions and publications related to the sales will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she founded in 1993.