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Elizabeth Taylor $116 Million Jewelry Auction Breaks Records


Elizabeth Taylor  La Pérégrina Christie's auction
Photo courtesy of Christie's
La Pérégrina, a 203-grain pear-shaped pearl that Elizabeth Taylor had mounted on a custom Cartier ruby and diamond necklace.

Who's afraid of a little bling?

Certainly not bidders at the Elizabeth Taylor auction hosted by Christie's on December 13, where the late actress' legendary jewelry collection raised a record-breaking $116 million, Reuters reports.

That windfall more than doubled the previous record held by a single jewelry collection (set in 1987 by the Duchess of Windsor's royal gems), and greatly exceeded the $20 million the auction house had expected to draw.

A 203-grain pear-shaped pearl, once owned by Mary Tudor of England and Queens Isabel and Margarita before being purchased by Richard Burton for $37,000 at a 1969 auction, was sold for $11,842,500, the largest price commanded by a pearl at an auction.

Known as the La Pérégrina (top left), the pearl, which Taylor had mounted as a custom Cartier ruby and diamond necklace, was expected to bring in just $2 to $3 million. 

Elizabeth Taylor diamond ring Christie's auction
Photo courtesy of Christie's
This diamond ring of 33.19 carats fetched $8,818,500 at the auction.


The famous 33.19-carat "Elizabeth Taylor Diamond," another gift from Burton, was also a top seller and broke the per-carat record for a colorless diamond. South Korean conglomerate Eland World paid $8,818,500 for the piece, which it plans to exhibit.

Of the 80 items on offer, the Taj Mahal diamond (a gift for Taylor's 40th birthday) also fetched $8,818,500, the most for an Indian jewel.

A tiara from former husband Mike Todd drew a record-breaking $4.2 million (six times its estimate), while a Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ring purchased by Burton set a new per-carat ruby record.

"This truly is one of the greatest jewelry collections in the world," Christie's head of jewelry Rahul Kadakia told Reuters.

"But in my wildest dreams, I did not think we would outsell the estimate by five times."

Taylor's clothing will be auctioned off on December 14. But does anybody have any money left?

Elizabeth Taylor jewelry Christie's auction house

Photo: Getty Images

Chaos at Christie's where employees spoke on the phone with bidders, all vying for the iconic jewelry pieces.

Meanwhile, we can't help but wonder if David Beckham ended up buying some baubles for Victoria after all.

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