Last night, the "best" and most notable of screen icon Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry was auctioned at Christie's, and the baubles broke records. The total was $116 million, with many items surpassing pre-auction estimates.
The star was a pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, "La Peregrina," which was bought by her husband Richard Burton in 1969. While Burton paid $37,000 in 1969, it was estimated to sell for between $2 million and 3 million, but sold for $11,842,500. And Taylor's most famous piece of jewelry, an obscenely big 33.19-carat diamond ring also bought for her by Burton, sold for $8,818,500 (pre-auction estimate was $2.5 million to $3.5 million).
A tiara given to Taylor by third husband Mike Todd sold for $4,226,500 (estimate $60,000 - $80,000). Christie's Brett Sherlock told CBS Taylor wore it casually, "(Taylor and Todd) had been renting a chateau in the south of France. And Elizabeth, at the age of 21, had been swimming in the pool, doing laps, wearing the Mike Todd tiara, when Mike Todd arrived carrying red boxes. And we all know what red boxes mean. Cartier. There wasn't a mirror around, so Elizabeth used the reflection of the pool to see herself."
Tonight, more of her jewelry as well as some of her clothes—the haute couture—are being auctioned off. Tomorrow is her fashion and accessories sale and, on Friday, the final Taylor-related sale is her art and film memorabilia.
Part of the auction's proceeds are going to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.