A huge pearl once worn by European royalty and last owned by Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor sold for a record $11.84 million at an auction in New York on Tuesday, Dec 13th. “La Peregrina,” depicted in art works over the centuries and coveted by kings and queens, was bought for Taylor by her actor/husband Richard Burton. He paid $37,000 at auction in 1969, outbidding a member of the Spanish royal family.
Fastforward to 2011, now suspended from a Cartier necklace, the pearl had been estimated to sell by Christie’s for $2-3 million, however, the figure shot up in fierce bidding, reaching the highest price for any pearl jewelry at auction. Apart from its remarkable size, (203 grains, the equivalent to 50 carats), it is the beauty and history of “La Peregrina” that makes it such a coveted jewel. View some of Taylor’s jaw dropping jewelry at auction in the video below:
The sale of Taylor’s belongings titled “Crown Jewels of Hollywood” follows a public viewing that attracted thousands to the New York auction rooms. Live sales were held through Friday. Running concurrently was an Internet-only sale of nearly 1,000 items such as jewelry and accessories like designer handbags. Hundreds of Taylor’s haute couture dresses from Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, Versace or Yves Saint Laurent, jackets, caftans, handbags and other accessories were on sale and they tell both the story of the star and also the changes in fashion during her eventful career.