As the world continues to mourn the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, there is one question that comes to mind: What’s going to happen to those fabulous jewels? According to sources, the actress’s brilliant baubles — estimated in the past at $150 million collectively — are expected to be auctioned by Christie’s sometime in the future. (A Christie’s spokeswoman declined to comment.) Part of what makes her collection so special is its quality, according to Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills President/CEO Peter Sedghi, who worked with the star on her House of Taylor jewelry line. “She had the most amazing eye,” he tells PEOPLE. “To be honest, she knew more than I did [about jewelry]. When you would show her stones, she would tell you the origin, if it’s good quality, bad quality, where it came from.”
And though Taylor loved it all — colored stones, pearls — she had a special place in her heart for diamonds, Sedghi says. “She had a collection like I’ve never seen before, and she knew exactly what every one was — what the diamonds were, the quality. But it was more for her; it was … the history behind it. A lot of them had sentimental value.” Friend and celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz says such sparklers were a natural part of Taylor’s history. “The studios, in order to make her happy, they’d always give her jewelry. So she grew up collecting it,” she explains. “People always gave her gifts … it was something that she learned to love.” And she took great care of them, too. “She [had] collections and collections, and rooms. She [knew] where every single piece was. [It was] amazing.”
Of all her baubles — which included the 69-carat Taylor-Burton diamond (pictured, purchased for more than $1 million) — it was the 33-carat Krupp diamond, gifted to her by fifth husband Richard Burton, that she treasured most. But regardless of which jewels she preferred, she was always wearing at least one. In fact, Schwartz remembers receiving a phone call one morning in 2003 after Taylor had taken a fall. “She was like, ‘I don’t feel good, my hair is dirty but I’m wearing my bracelet,’” she recalls. “I mean, fabulous
More Details of Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewelry Auction Revealed
Her jewelry collection was almost as dazzling as she was. And now, Christie’s is set to auction off some of the most iconic diamonds, gemstones, historic jewels and one-of-a-kind creations that were owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
On Dec. 13 and 14 in New York, the auction house will put a total of 269 jewels up for bid, estimated to be worth more than $30 million. They include gifts from her many husbands, including Mike Todd and Richard Burton — in particular, the 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond, later known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, which was the first jewel that Burton bought for Taylor.
Other Burton gifts for sale include the famous 16th-century La Peregrina pearl and 17th-century Taj Mahal diamond pendant.
The jewelry auction is part of a larger sale of some of the most prized possessions of the Hollywood legend, who died in March at age 79. Other items to be auctioned include fashions, accessories, decorative arts and memorabilia, the U.K.’s Telegraph reports. A portion of the proceeds will reportedly go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
The museum-quality collection, including the jewelry, will be exhibited on a three-month international tour beginning this month, ahead of the auction in December.