Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry fetches $116M
Auction nets more than double the single-collection record
A 33.19-carat diamond ring given to Elizabeth Taylor by actor Richard Burton, whom she married twice, sold for $8,818,500 US at an auction of gems, fabulous clothes, accessories and memorabilia amassed by the late actress.
The ring, estimated to sell for $2.5 million to $3.5 million, was included in a collection of Taylor's necklaces, earrings, pendants and rings and other gems that went on sale Tuesday night at Christie's auction house in New York City. The ring was purchased by a private buyer from Asia, according to a Christie's spokesman.
Altogether, the actress's jewelry took in $116 million, more than double the record for a single collection and setting new marks for pearls, colorless diamonds and Indian jewels, reports said.
A pearl known as "La Peregrina" purchased at auction for $37,000 in 1969 by Burton for Taylor reached the world record price of $11,842,500. It was estimated to sell for $2 million to $3 million.
Among the other high-profile items was a diamond bracelet given to the National Velvet and Cleopatra actress by singer Michael Jackson, with an estimated sale price of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $194,500. All prices include the buyer's premium.
Taylor, a screen goddess who also starred in classics such as Giant, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, died in Los Angeles in March at age 79. A jewelry lover, she had pieces from some of the most famous names in the jewelry world, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chopard, in her collection.
Other sales of Taylor's art, clothing and memorabilia will be held later in the week. An online-only sale of some items runs until Saturday. Part of the proceeds will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991 to help people living with AIDS.
Taylor's collection of impressionist and modern art is scheduled to go on sale at Christie's in London in February.