There are few icons as well-known as Dame Elizabeth Taylor. There are also fewer that appreciate and have a passion for jewelry as much as Liz Taylor did. In honor of the recent premiere of Lifetime’s Liz & Dick, we have compiled a list of our favorite jewelry pieces worn by Elizabeth Taylor–most of which were gifted to her by Richard Burton himself.
The first iconic piece of jewelry of our choosing is this amazing diamond encrusted tiara, gifted to Taylor by her third husband Mike Todd. She first wore this tiara to the Academy Awards, which as you can imagine, made quite the statement.
One of the most famous pieces of jewelry that Taylor owned was the pear-shaped Taylor-Burton diamond, which weighs 69 carats. Richard Burton purchased this diamond for $1.1 million, which was the highest price diamond in the world at this time. After their divorce, Taylor auctioned the diamond in 1978 for $5,000,000. The money was was used to build a hospital in Botswana.
One cannot mention Elizabeth without associating her with the Krupp Diamond, which is now fittingly known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. This ring was given to Taylor by Burton five years into their first marriage. The ring was designed by Harry Winston and showcases a stunning 33.19 carat asscher cut diamond. This ring was originally purchased for over $300,000 in 1958 but sold for over $8 million when the diamond went up for auction by Christie’s in 2011.
Some of Taylor’s most beloved pieces of jewelry feature emeralds. This diamond and emerald brooch was designed by Bulgari. Burton was quoted as saying, “I introduced Elizabeth Taylor to beer and she introduced me to Bulgari.”
Last, but certainly not least, La Peregrina, contains one of the most perfect and most famous pearls in the world–a pear-shaped 11.2 gram pearl. The pearl was originally discovered by a slave in the waters of the Gulf of Panama in the mid-16th century. It was turned over to the Spanish crown and eventually found its way to being owned by Mary Tudor of England who wore the pearl as a brooch. Burton purchased the dazzling pearl for Taylor at Sotheby’s auction in 1969 for a cool $37,000. Taylor commissioned Cartier to design a setting sitting of this extraordinary pearl. The necklace was sold for $10.5 million at Christie’s auction in 2011.
Elizabeth Taylor as well as all Elizabeth Taylor jewelry will forever be remembered for countless reasons—her gifts of acting, her charitable efforts, and of course her impeccable taste in fashion and jewelry. Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry will forever contribute to her legacy and continue to bring joy to the lives of those that are lucky enough to own a piece of history.
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