By Erika W.
Highlights from the Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry Exhibition
Pure unadulterated jewelry joy…
The Elizabeth Taylor jewelry collection is currently on a world tour, and I had the pleasure of seeing the jewels at MOCA’s Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. The collection is on view at MOCA until October 16, and then it moves to Dubai, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong and New York, where the collection will be auctioned by Christie’s. For more information on show dates and locations, please visit: Elizabeth Taylor Collection on World Tour.
It is a rare (surreal) opportunity to see these jewels in person, as they will soon be scattered across the globe after Christie’s sale. I took photos of almost every piece on exhibition for those who cannot attend. Most of these jewels are featured in her book, Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry.
Actress, humanitarian, international (and Pricescope!) icon, Elizabeth Taylor shares her jewels with the world.
The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond
Formerly known as The Krupp Diamond, The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond is a rare D color (Type IIa) VS1 clarity diamond weighing 33.19 carats. The stone was a gift from Richard Burton, who purchased it in 1968 for $300,000. Christie’s selling estimate is $2.5-3.5 million, but it is anticipated the diamond will sell for much more.
The Taj Mahal Diamond
The Taj Mahal Diamond with gold and ruby chain by Cartier – Circa 1627 – The heart shaped diamond is inscribed with the name Nur Jahan, wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahangir. Richard Burton gave this historical jewel to Elizabeth Taylor for her 40th birthday.
La Pérégrina – The Legendary Pearl
The size and provenance of La Pérégrina – The Legendary Pearl makes it one of the most remarkable and valuable natural pearls in the world. Selling estimate: $2-3 million
From Christie’s: “Discovered in the early 1500s in the Gulf of Panama, the pear-shaped pearl became part of the crown jewels of Spain. Prince Philip II of Spain
gave it as a wedding gift to his wife, Mary Tudor of England, and it later
passed on to the Spanish queens Margarita and Isabel, who proudly wore
the pearl in 17th century portraits painted by Velázquez himself. Richard
Burton famously purchased the pearl for Elizabeth Taylor at auction in
1969 for $37,000, after successfully outbidding a member of the Spanish
Royal family. Inspired by a 16th century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots,
she later commissioned Cartier to design an exquisite new mount of
matched natural pearls and rubies to offset what she called ‘the most perfect
pearl in the world.’
The Richard Burton Ruby and Diamond Ring
The Richard Burton Ruby and Diamond Ring features a vivid ruby of 8.24 carats set in a diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels. The ring was a Christmas gift circa 1968. Taylor called the ruby “the most perfect colored stone I’d ever seen.”
The Burton Diamond Brooch
The Burton Diamond Brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels is expected to fetch $200,000-$300,000 at Christie’s Sale.
The Ping Pong Rings
After winning a game of ping pong in 1970, Elizabeth Taylor requested the smallest diamond ring in Gstaad as her prize. Burton came back with three diamond rings named “The Ping Pong Rings.”
The BVLGARI Emerald Suite
The BVLGARI Emerald Suite was given to Elizabeth Taylor from Richard Burton circa 1962-1967. “I introduced Liz to beer, and she introduced me to
The Cartier Ruby Suite
The Cartier Ruby Suite was given to Elizabeth Taylor from Mike Todd in August of 1957. Ms. Taylor had been swimming in the family pool while wearing her tiara, and Todd arrived with a suite of jewels from Cartier. After donning her new ruby suite, she jumped into the pool and pulled him in with her. “I just shrieked with joy, put my arms around Mike’s neck, and pulled him into the pool after me.”
The Mike Todd Antique Diamond Tiara
Made circa 1880, the Mike Todd Antique Diamond Tiara was given to Elizabeth Taylor in 1957. “You are my queen,” he told her when he presented her with the tiara.
The Mike Todd Diamond Ear Pendants
Elizabeth Taylor fell in love with these earrings while visiting Paris with Mike Todd, but the original stones were paste. Mike Todd later surprised her by having them remade with diamonds.
To see more of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection visit: