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September 24, 2002
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In celebration of her new book, My Love Affair With Jewellery, a spectacular selection of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels are going on display at Christie’s in New York this week. And one fabulous piece – a gift to from longtime love Richard Burton – is hitting the auction block to raise money for the star’s AIDS foundation.

The emerald and diamond Bulgari ring, which is set with a 7.4 carat emerald surrounded by 12 pear-shaped diamonds, is worth $40,000-$60,000, but because of its relation to the famed couple, the auction house says the sky’s the limit when it comes to bids. “Some time ago, Christie’s auctioned Marilyn Monroe’s diamond engagement ring and it sold for $700,000 – and no one expected that,” says a representative. “This particular auction is very exciting because the money is going to such a good cause.”

Also being sold to raise money for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation are eight pieces, created at the request of the Giant star for the event, by firms such as Cartier and Harry Winston. Though absentee bids are accepted on-line at, a private live auction will be held on Thursday, with celebrity guests such as Elton John, Robert DeNiro and Barbra Streisand expected to attend.

For those who are just browsing, Christie’s is also putting on display 30 of Liz’s own jewels, personally selected by the legendary actress, including the 33.19 Krupp Diamond, and the heart-shaped 17th-century Taj Mahal Diamond, both gifts from Richard Burton. Though Liz received the Taj Mahal diamond from her two-time husband for her 40th birthday, it was originally a present from Mughal Emperor Shah-Jahan to his favourite wife Mumtaz-I-Mahal, in whose memory the Taj Mahal was built.

Another highlight is the 16th-century La Peregrina Pearl, which was passed through the hands of a number of European queens and is worn by Queen Margarita of Spain in a famed Velasquez portrait.

The 30 pieces, all featured in Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewellery, will be on public display at Christie’s in New York from September 30 to October 14.

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Photo: ©
As she launches her new book, My Love Affair With Jewellery, Elizabeth Taylor has put dozens of her famed pieces on display and offers one stunning ring for the auction block of jewellery up for bid
Photo: ©
Liz's emerald and diamond ring, a gift from Richard Burton worth upwards of $70,000, is one of the items up for bid to raise money for the AIDS cause