They said/We said: Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery auction breaks records, raising $116 million

Necklace part of the Elizabeth Taylor auction
Stan Honda/Getty Images
Necklace part of the Elizabeth Taylor auction
Stan Honda/Getty Images

Last night in New York, Christie’s auction of the legendary Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery shattered records for private jewellery sales and raised $116 million. Known for her penchant for expensive and extravagant baubles, the late actress’ collection included pieces by some of the world’s most famous jewellers including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chopard.

Most of the items in the auction surpassed Christie’s estimated ticket prices. The highest bid of the night was $11.8 million for a pearl, diamond, and ruby necklace known as “La Peregina” that was purchased for Taylor by Richard Burton at an auction in 1967. The high price of the necklace came as a surprise to auctioneers, who expected the highest-ticketed item to be the “Elizabeth Taylor Diamond,” a ring that was also a gift from Burton, and which sold for $8.8 million. Other high profile items included a diamond bracelet gifted to Taylor by long-time friend Michael Jackson.

If you’re a diehard fan of Taylor and you missed the auction, some items are still available online—and her clothing and memorabilia will go on sale later this week. Her extensive art collection will go on sale at Christies in February. Nothing in your price range? According to Racked, has already copied a few of Taylor’s famous pieces to cash in on the hype around the auction.


Marc Porter, Christie’s Americas President: “It’s one of the most extraordinary auctions that Christie’s has ever had and a testament to the affection for Elizabeth Taylor worldwide.” [NY Post]

Telegraph UK: “Were the members of the one per cent ashamed of such an unabashed display of wealth? No, they were not. The one per cent made their presence felt, as auctioneers in dinner jackets and bowties called in the frenzied bids from across the globe.” [Telegraph UK]

The Cut: “So, hooray for that, then—now your Christmas wishlist probably seems trifling in comparison.” [NY Mag]

Refinery29: “Let’s just wait and see what kind of damage the British do clawing over her art when it goes on sale in London in February. Our prediction? More record breaking.” [Refinery29]


Randi Bergman, online editor: “Call me crazy, but I am actually planning on bidding on some of the MUCH more affordable items. My personal favourite item, a poster from my favourite film of Liz’s, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, complete with this inscription: “To Richard—the hottest cat on any roof! Happy Birthday,” but considering it’s estimated price is between $3,000–$5,000, I think I’d be better off bidding on something more under the radar, like this, this, or this! Wish me luck (and give me money!)”

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