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Elizabeth Taylor and her love for diamonds

By Alina

Marketing and Communications Advisor with a passion for diamonds and a nose for trends. Always happy to share the latest developments in the jewelry business with you.

December 8, 2020

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, also called Liz, was a British American actress. She won an Oscar in 1960 for her lead role in Butterfield 8 and in 1966 for her lead role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? They have received more than 35 other film awards, including a BAFTA Award, a Silver Bear, and four Golden Globes. Elizabeth Taylor’s fascination for diamonds started with her first love William Pawley Jr, the son of the US ambassador. The engagement ring for Elizabeth Taylor included a cushion cut diamond. Liz Taylor’s ring was unique and fascinating. But this story didn’t turn into a happy marriage. Mr. Pawley wanted Elizabeth to become a housewife, but she continued making movies. Even though the marriage didn’t work out, the diamond engagement ring that she got did start her fascination for Diamonds. In this blog, you are going read about some of the famous pieces of jewelry she owned

The Mike Todd diamond tiara

Elizabeth Taylor may not have been actual royalty, even if she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II. But she certainly was Hollywood royalty. It’s no wonder that her film producer husband thought she needed her very own tiara.

History of the tiara

She wore this tiara to almost every big carpet event of one season. The extravagant piece was a gift from her third husband producer Mike Todd.  In her book, my love affair with jewelry, Taylor said “when Mike gave me this tiara, he said, you’re my queen, and I think you should have a tiara.” Mike Todd delivered a bit of his own signature wit and ironic humor when the infamous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper asked him about the jewel in the press room after he won the Best Picture Oscar for his film around the world in 80 days. He looked Hopper in the eye and simply said, “Doesn’t every girl have one?”

Specifics of the tiara

Even though Taylor did not wear the tiara as often as many of her other important jewels, the piece still became iconic. For one reason, it’s a tiara and that is always attention-grabbing. The jewel’s fame is also attached to the fact that Taylor worn it on such high-profile occasions. When the piece appeared at Christie’s in 2011 with Taylor’s estate the formal description said, “Designed as nine old mine-cut diamond scrolls with larger old mine-cut diamond terminals, spaced by old mine-cut diamond latticework motifs, mounted in platinum and gold, circa 1880, 9 5/8 inch. circumference.” The jewel’s high estimate was $80,000. It sold for $4,226,500. The buyer has chosen to remain private.

Chandelier earrings

“Life without earrings is empty!” Elizabeth Taylor once proclaimed. One of her favorite pairs were diamond and platinum chandeliers. She was photographed in these earrings more frequently than any other jewel in her collection.

The earrings appeared front and center in countless pictures throughout her life, particularly around the period when she received them from Mike Todd. While the jewels may not be her most important or expensive treasure, arguably all the times she has magically transformed the sparklers into one of the most glamorous jewels in her collection.

The design

The chandelier earrings are a design from Kenneth Jay Lane. The design references eighteenth-century style girandole diamond earrings with three pear shape drops accented by ribbons and flowers. A major difference between the historic styles and Taylor’s earrings is the platinum setting. In the distant past, the piece would have been created in silver-topped gold, a combination that did not have the refined quality of platinum. It wasn’t until around 1900 that technological advances gave jewelers the ability to work platinum into the elegant natural curves of ribbons and flowers. By the mid-twentieth century, when Todd had Taylor’s earrings made, platinum was the metal used almost exclusively for formal jewels.

Elizabeth Taylor her emeralds

After Mike Todd, the actress went on to meet another man who could understand her love of diamonds. Richard Burton proposed to Elizabeth with a platinum-set pendant featuring an 18.61-carat Emerald surrounded by diamonds.

This is how they acquired it

They went to Bulgari together. The couple worked with the dashing Gianni Bulgari in the private space, Elizabeth referred to as the “money room” in her book My Love Affair with Jewelry. In the sanctum sanctorum, they found an emerald and diamond necklace with a detachable pendant-brooch that was a textbook example of the sixties High Jewelry style. The piece featured 16 rectangular-cut and square-cut graduated emeralds. Each gem was surrounded by circular, marquise, and pear shape diamonds.

Auction price

The pendant brooch that can be worn with the necklace is epic and possibly the biggest jewel to be added to Elizabeth’s already substantial collection at the time. It was set with an 18-carat rectangular-cut Columbian emerald and surrounded by 12 pear shape diamonds. When this piece was sold at auction with Elizabeth Taylor’s estate in 2011, it went for $ 6,578.500. The price set a world auction record for an emerald jewel and price per carat of an emerald at $280,000 per carat.

The Krupp diamond engagement ring

Often referred to as the Elizabeth Taylor Krupp Diamond or simply as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, the Krupp Diamond is a magnificent stone with a fascinating history. One of several significant diamonds owned by Elizabeth Taylor. The Asscher cut diamond weighs 33.19 carats, it has a fairly large culet facet that indicates it was probably cut before the 1920s.

Specifics of the Krupp diamond

Like the Koh-i-Noor and Cullinan diamonds, the Krupp Diamond is believed to have originated in the Golconda region, as it is a type IIa, with exceptional optical transparency.

Richard Burton purchased the diamond at auction in New York for his wife In May 1968. The piece cost him just over $300,000. In true burton-Taylor fashion, he presented it to her aboard their yacht docked on the Thames in London. Elizabeth later called the Krupp one of her favorite pieces of jewelry, even though burton bought her an even bigger diamond in 1969; the pear-shaped Taylor –Burton diamond. Elizabeth sold the Taylor –Burton diamond in 1978 after divorcing burton for good, but she kept the Krupp diamond for the rest of her life.

Auction

When Taylor died in 2011, so the ring sold at auction. The diamond was renamed the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, the piece was auctioned for about 8.8 million. It was sold to E-land, a South Korean conglomerate that owns and operates numerous retail brands, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and theme parks.

The Elizabeth Taylor Burton Diamond

This famous gem that’s often referred to as Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond started out as a rough stone weighing in at an amazing 241 carats. It was originally 48.2 grams, a bit smaller than some other notable diamonds sourced from the same mine in South Africa. The original Taylor Burton diamond has been re-cut since being sold to its current owner. It weighed in at 69.42 carats when purchased by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

How they required the diamond

Richard had a limit of one million he was prepared to spend on the ring. But after a fierce bidding war that included Aristotle Onassis, they sold the ring to Cartier for $50,000 more than his top price. Afterward, he made a deal with Cartier, who sold him the ring for $1.1 million; making a $50,000 profit on a ring they had owned for about a day. One stipulation of the purchase was that the ring would be displayed at Cartier boutiques in New York and Chicago. Burton agreed, over 6,000 people lined up each day to see the gem that was guarded by a machine gun.

After that exhibition, they took the diamond to Monaco in November of 1969. There, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor took possession of the fabled gemstone. Soon after receiving the famous diamond, Elizabeth Taylor came to the conclusion that the diamond should be worn in a necklace She had it placed and positioned so that it would cover a scar from an emergency tracheotomy operation.

After the divorce

Burton and Taylor divorced twice. After the second split, Elizabeth Taylor’s pear-shaped diamond was sold to New York jeweler Henry Lambert, for an estimated 5 million in 1978. This translates to about 18.9 million in 2015. Part of the sale’s proceeds funded the construction of a new hospital in Botswana.

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