NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Tuesday night there was an auction of royal proportions in Midtown.
Christie’s was selling off Elizabeth Taylor’s “legendary jewels.”
CBS 2’s Alexis Christoforous was inside the auction where bidding went through the roof.
Collectors and fans of the Hollywood actress packed Christie’s auction house for the chance to own one of Taylor’s prized possessions.
PHOTOS: Taylor Auction
The crown jewel of her collection was an iconic 33-carat flawless white diamond ring, a gift from husband Richard Burton.
Another Burton gift was a Bulgari emerald and diamond necklace, which sold for $5.4 million.
Eighty earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings went under the gavel, including a diamond and sapphire ring, given to Taylor by the late Michael Jackson. It fetched $600,000.
Experts called the event one of the most important jewelry auctions in a generation.
“A hallmark of this entire collection is the quality of the stones and the craftsmanship,” said Christie’s President and CEO Marc Porter.
It took Taylor a lifetime to amass her jewelry collection. Christie’s said it is among the finest in the world. And as rich as Taylor’s jewels are, so are the stories that come with them.
There was the Cartier diamond tiara, which she wore to the 1957 Academy Awards. It was a gift from her third husband, Hollywood producer Mike Todd.
After a fierce bidding battle, the rare pearl necklace, known as “La Peregrina,” which Queen Mary Tudor of England once owned, sold for a staggering price $10.5 million – a record for any pearl jewel.
But for the well-heeled bidders, the legend of Taylor makes her jewels priceless.
Part of the proceeds will go to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.
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