Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Elizabeth Taylor was known for her violet eyes -- and her eye for jewelry. During her lifetime, Taylor, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 79, collected an estimated $150 million worth of rare jewels. Now, sources tell People that the actress's jewelry collection is expected to be auctioned by Christie's "sometime in the future." Christie's has not confirmed the auction, so we don't know which pieces will be up for bidding -- but Taylor owned many a famous bauble that any collector would kill for. Here are a few of her favorite things...
- A diamond tiara given to her by third husband Mike Todd. A young Taylor liked to wear it when she went swimming.
- The Krupp Diamond, Elizabeth's favorite piece of jewelry: a 33-carat gem given to her by the love of her life, on-again-off-again husband Richard Burton. She had it mounted on a ring and wore it frequently throughout her life.
- An enormous Bulgari diamond-and-emerald necklace, also given to her by Burton.
- The giant La Peregrina Pearl, formerly owned by Spanish royalty.
- A sapphire engagement ring from second husband Michael Wilding.
Taylor was extremely knowledgeable about her museum-quality jewelry collection, which she documented in her 2002 book My Love Affair With Jewelry. One of Taylor's most famous jewels won't make it to Christie's, however: The Taylor-Burton Diamond, a 69-carat gem considered one of the world's most perfect diamonds, was sold in 1978, with the partial proceeds going to build a hospital in Botswana. The proceeds for the upcoming auction are rumored to be destined for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and amFAR.
Though collectors will be thrilled if the actress' jewels go up for auction, another group of Taylor devotees may not be so happy: her family. According to Popeater, Taylor's heirs are already beginning to feud over her substantial fortune of up to $1 billion, accumulated largely from Taylor's business dealings (like her fragrance and jewelry lines).
"Elizabeth... made arrangements to split the rest of her fortune between her four children and other charities that she cared so much about," a close friend tells the website. "But what is causing all the problems is not the money she made during her life, but rather what should happen to the millions she is going to make after her death."
In other words, the profits from future Elizabeth Taylor merchandise, film re-releases and product sales are still up for grabs -- and her children, business managers and favorite charities are all looking for their share. Even if it's only her family fighting over money, that could still be a big argument: Taylor is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.