The most valuable private collection of jewels sold at auction

Press release
Published December 15th, 2011 - 07:47 GMT

The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels Evening Sale achieved $115,932,000 (£74,196,480/€89,267,640), becoming the most valuable jewelry auction in history and setting the tone for Christie’s highly anticipated four-day series of landmark auctions devoted to the iconic collection of Elizabeth Taylor (13-16 December 2011). A tribute to the discerning eye of this celebrated film star, fashion icon, and humanitarian, the sale was 100% sold by lot and 100% by value, with 24 of the 80 jewels fetching over $1 million and 6 jewels over $5 million. 7 new world auction records were established: price per carat for a colorless diamond and for a ruby; a pair of natural pearl ear pendants; a pearl jewel; an Indian jewel and an emerald jewel. 

The top lot of the sale was the legendary 16th century pearl La Peregrina which realized $11,842,500 (£7,579,200/ €9,118,725), setting two world auction records: for an historic pearl (against the previous record of $2.5 million set by La Regente at Christie’s Geneva, 2005) and for a pearl jewel (surpassing the $7 million record paid for The Baroda Pearls at Christie’s New York, 2007). 

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, of 33.19 carats, D color, potentially internally flawless, realized $8,818,500 (£5,643,840/€6,790,245), setting a record price per carat ($265,697). This far exceeds the $240,000 per carat paid for The Annenberg Diamond of 32.01 carats when it sold at Christie’s New York in 2009.            

Background Information

Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service, expertise and global reach. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

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