Elizabeth Taylor's Jewelry Collection Sets New Record
12.14.11 by Mandy
Need to make a quick $116 million? Just sell off a collection of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry.
On Tuesday night, Christie's auctioned the iconic actress's legendary collection. The night set a record for the most money spent on a private jewelry collection, ending with a total $115,932,000, says the Telegraph. That figure is more than double the previous record, with the Duchess of Windsor's jewelry collection earning $50 million at auction in 1987. Furthermore, this new record-breaking total was just for one night and only 80 items being sold. The jewelry auction is set to continue tonight, with clothing, accessories, art, and memorabilia to be sold later in the week. Part of the proceeds of the auction will be donated to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
One of the biggest items to hit the auction block last night was the 19th-century diamond tiara that was a gift from Taylor's third husband, Mike Todd, in 1957. The tiara features old mine-cut diamonds in scroll and lattice motifs set in gold and platinum. Diamonds that old tend not to have as high a rating in clarity and color as stones cut more recently, which was perhaps the reason the piece was estimated by Christie's to sell for between $60,000 to $80,000. The actual selling price was just over $4 million.
Another highly anticipated item was the Van Cleef and Arpels ruby-and-diamond ring that was given to Elizabeth Taylor as a Christmas present in 1968 from, no surprise, Richard Burton. The ring was estimated to sell for between $1M and $1.5M, but went for $4,226,500. We're guessing it was that extra 500 bucks that put it out of the other buyers' reach.
Unsurprisingly, the highest ticket item of the night was the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. The 33.19-carat diamond is currently set in a ring with a tapered baguette on each side. It was another gift from Richard Burton, also given yo Taylor in 1968. With the highest estimate of the items auctioned, the ring was expected to bring in between $2.5 and $3.5 million. It far exceeded the estimate, and the buyer won with a bid of $8,818,500.
For those who aren't able to make it to New York for the auction, there is also an online auction being conducted through Saturday, December 17. What a perfect way to pick up a little $5,000 something for that someone special on your Christmas list!