Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry collection sells for a record setting $115 million
Months after her death, Elizabeth Taylor is still making a big impact and her prized jewelry collection is coveted by many who were willing to pay the high price.
The actress' infamous jewelry collection was auctioned off in New York on December 13 at Christie's auction house for a record-setting $115 million.
The sum includes the $11.8 million paid for a pearl necklace and more than $8.8 million for a diamond ring given to her by Richard Burton, according to The Associated Press.
Part of the proceeds will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991 to help people living with AIDS.
Taylor amassed one of the foremost jewelry collections in the world, including a 33.19 carat diamond ring and a 16th century pear-shaped pearl from one of her seven husbands, Richard Burton. He purchased it for Taylor in 1969 as a Valentine's Day gift.
The pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, known as "La Peregrina," was 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. The price surpassed the previous auction record for a pearl, set in 2007 at Christie's auction house in New York City with the sale of The Baroda Pearls for $7,096,000.
The pair had met in Italy on the set of the 1963 film "Cleopatra," and married for the first time in 1964. The two divorced in 1974 but remarried in 1975 before calling it quits again in 1976.
The Hollywood film legend died of congestive heart failure at age 79 on Wednesday, March 23, and was laid to rest a day later at a private memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Los Angeles. Taylor became as famous for her love affairs as she was for her movie roles in films like "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" She was married eight times to seven husbands.
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.
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. Taylor's collection of impressionist and modern art is scheduled to go on sale at Christie's in London in February.
In 2002, Taylor wrote a memoir titled, "My Love Affair with Jewelry," in which she described the journey of her collection and how she came to own each piece.
"I never, never thought of my jewelry as trophies," she wrote. "I'm here to take care of them and to love them. When I die and they go off to auction I hope whoever buys them gives them a really good home."