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by Amanda Applebyinfo@amandaappleby.com

The fabulous jewellery of Elizabeth Taylor

Gone but certainly not forgotten, Elizabeth Taylor remains one of Hollywood's most iconic screen sirens. With her exotic dark looks and dramatic sense of style, Liz was the personification of old school glamour. Known as much for her tempestuous love affairs as for her acting ability, Elizabeth was married eight times, to seven husbands. These lucky gentlemen contributed generously to Liz's other great love: fine, opulent jewellery.

During her lifetime, Elizabeth Taylor amassed one of the most valuable jewellery collections recorded in recent history. Comprised of extravagant gifts from husbands as well as famous admirers, this treasure trove of priceless gems fetched a staggering $115 million at Christie's estate auction held in New York in 2011.

Richard Burton, husband number 5 as well as 6, showered Elizabeth with glittery offerings during their little more than a decade together. Perhaps the most famous jewel in Elizabeth's collection, purchased by Burton as a Valentine's present, was the La Peregrina Pearl. This 50 carat pear-shaped pearl is said to be cursed, and once belonged to Mary I of England. Elizabeth Taylor commissioned Cartier to set La Peregrina in a diamond and ruby necklace, and this piece was sold for a record-breaking $11 million on auction.

The Taylor-Burton love affair also resulted in many other fabulous gifts, including the Taj Mahal diamond and ruby necklace designed by Cartier. This heart-shaped diamond was presented to Elizabeth by Burton on her 40th birthday in 1972. ''I would have liked to buy her the Taj Mahal'' Burton joked ''but it would have cost too much to transport it''.

Third husband Mike Todd also had a penchant for buying his wife extravagant jewellery, including an antique diamond tiara and a diamond and ruby Cartier set consisting of earrings, a necklace and a bracelet.

Known as ''The Crown Jewels of Hollywood'', Elizabeth's collection also included, to name but a few, a diamond bracelet gifted by the late Michael Jackson, a Daisy Parure ''Reine Marguerite'' necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels and a Bulgari emerald necklace.

If there is one lesson to be learned from the sensational Dame Taylor, it is that jewellery is meant to be worn and enjoyed, not hidden in a safe! So, go on, wear that dazzling vintage diamond ring you've been saving for a special occasion. It's what Liz would have done ...

View products in the following categories:

Vintage | Necklace | Earrings | Bracelet | Sets | Emerald | Pearl | Diamond | Ruby

View blogs with the following tags:

Carats | Diamonds | Earrings | Emerald | Famous | Gems | Pearls | Vintage
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