Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry collection sold for a whopping $115 million
last night to set a world record for the most valuable private
jewels sold at auction.
Among the items sold at Christie's auction house in New York City for the highest prices were a pearl necklace owned by the late actress that fetched $11.8 million and a 33.19-carat diamond ring given to her by husband Richard Burton that brought in more than $8.8 million. The auction collection included necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings and other gems.
The ring, which was estimated to sell for $2.5 million to $3.5 million, was purchased by a private buyer from Asia, according to a spokesman for Christie's. Another high-profile item sold was a diamond bracelet given to the Hollywood icon by pop star Michael Jackson. The bracelet had an estimated sale price of $30,000 to $50,000, but ended up selling for $194,500.
Taylor -- who starred in screen classics including Giant, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof -- died in Los Angeles in March at age 79.
Her son Chris Wilding issued the following statement on the auction: "We are extremely gratified by the spectacular results of the jewelry sale last night at Christie's. My mother was an admirer and collector of extraordinary things. The outcome of the sale is a testament to her connoisseurship as well as to the remarkable talents of the team at Christie's. We are deeply moved by the incredible response to her collection. She would be happy to know that her wish for her jewelry to be owned and enjoyed by others was fulfilled."
An additional sale of some of Taylor's art, clothing and memorabilia will be held later in the week and her collection of impressionist and modern art is scheduled to go on sale at Christie's in London in February. Part of the proceeds will benefit The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991 to help people living with AIDS.