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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor Auction Expected to Fetch $30 Million

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, a 33.19-carat, Asscher-cut gem that's expected to fetch $2.5 million-$3.5 million.

The first day of the most anticipated jewelry auction in (well, who knows how long?) will begin at 8 p.m. The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor sale at Christie’s Rockefeller Center headquarters in New York is expected to fetch $30 million for 61 lots.

“This is without a doubt the greatest private collection of jewelry ever assembled in one place,” said Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie's Americas.

This is only the beginning. Another auction of the actress’ jewelry will be held Wednesday, followed by two more days that will see Taylor’s jewelry, couture clothing, accessories, memorabilia and decorative arts sold to the highest bidders.

Among the items in the sale tonight is the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, a 33.19-carat, Asscher-cut diamond on a ring that was a gift from her husband Richard Burton. This was the ring that Taylor wore nearly every day. Burton purchased the stone at auction in 1968 for a reported $305,000. It's expected to fetch $2.5 million-$3.5 million.

There’s also the La Peregrina, the pear-shaped pearl, ruby and diamond necklace centered with a 203-grain pear-shaped pearl discovered in the 16th Century as its centerpiece. Taylor and Al Durante of Cartier designed the piece. It’s expected to sell for $2 million to $3 million.

Another highlight is The Taj Majal Diamond, a gift from Richard Burton, for Elizabeth Taylor’s 40th birthday in 1972. Inscribed with the name Nur Jahan, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahangir, this heart-shaped diamond is believed to have been a gift from the ruler to his son, who became the great emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666). It is believed that the young prince presented the diamond to his favorite and most beloved wife, Mumtaz-i-Mahal. The emperor’s grief at her death just four years later inspired him to commission the majestic Taj Mahal in her memory. Estimate: $300,000 – $500,000

I will be attending tonight’s auction and will be either tweeting or blogging live from it, so stay tuned.

Read more about the auction on Jewelry News Network by following this link.