Tomorrow, 27th February, would have been Elizabeth Taylor’s 83rd birthday and I thought I would post a tribute to that most glamorous of Hollywood movie stars. Her love of jewellery is well known and she undoubtedly wore it well!
Although wealthy enough in her own right to purchase jewellery, much of Taylor’s most famous pieces were given to her by her husbands as gifts of love…..or were they? After Mike Todd many pieces were beyond her partner’s budgets, as you will find out if you watch the Christies Auction…..however if your first husband spoilt you like this it would be hard not to expect more of the same……
“When [third husband Mike Todd] gave me this tiara, he said, ‘You’re my queen, and I think you should have a tiara,'” Taylor wrote in A Life in Jewelry. “I wore it for the first time when we went to the Academy Awards. It was the most perfect night, because Mike’s film Around the World in 80 Days won for Best Picture. It wasn’t fashionable to wear tiaras then, but I wore it anyway, because he was my king.”
Elizabeth’s 5th and 6th husband, Richard Burton, met Elizabeth on the set of Cleopatra in 1961 and the rest, of course, is history. He was to give her the most breathtakingly beautiful stones, including this 69.42 carat diamond, now known as the Taylor-Burton diamond, which she wore to the 42nd Academy Awards in 1970. Originally a ring, she had it made into a necklace because, as she famously commented at the time, “even for me it was too big“.
The Taylor diamond, another gift from Burton, was the 33.19 carat, D colour, VS1 Potentially Internally Flawless Asscher cut diamond – formerly known as the Krupp diamond. Elizabeth said it was her favourite piece of jewellery.
“Size does matter but so does the size of the emotion behind it.” Elizabeth Taylor
You can read more about Taylor and her jewellery in her book: My love affair with Jewelry
Ladies, I think one thing of note in this story is that even though publicly these jewels were always gifts from lovers…very often they were funded behind the scenes by Elizabeth herself. This did not reduce, in any way, her enjoyment of playing with and wearing the pieces and did not diminish the memories of her greatest romances.