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Elizabeth Taylor's Love Affair With Diamonds

by Kate McCoy |

Elizabeth Taylor is one of the fashion worlds first icons, and even though she is no longer with us, will continue to be an icon in the fashion, beauty and especially jewellery industries.

Taylor was known for her diamonds, she loved them like children, and even named her signature fragrances after them. Once, when asked about her love of jewellery and diamonds, Taylor said, “My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring and I was hooked.”

The actress was frequently referred to as a hopeless romantic due to her countless marriages. In her lifetime, Elizabeth got married eight times, twice to the same man. But, it wasn’t her romances with men that truly made headlines. Instead, Elizabeth started a love affair with diamonds. Throughout the years, Elizabeth managed to build up an impressive diamond jewellery collection which would make any woman green with envy. Here are just a few of her most memorable pieces;

 

Diamond Tiara 

 

In 1957, Elizabeth went on to meet her third husband, Mike Todd. The American theatre and film producer had no trouble showing off his romantic side. Mike proposed to Elizabeth with a 29.4 carat emerald cut engagement ring. But, the extravagant gifts didn’t stop there. He also gave Elizabeth one of her most memorable jewellery pieces, a famous tiara. The actress was spotted wearing the gorgeous accessory at the 1957 Academy Awards. “When [third husband Mike Todd] gave me this tiara, he said, ‘You’re my queen, and I think you should have a tiara,'” Taylor wrote in A Life in Jewelry. “I wore it for the first time when we went to the Academy Awards. It was the most perfect night, because Mike’s film Around the World in 80 Days won for Best Picture. It wasn’t fashionable to wear tiaras then, but I wore it anyway, because he was my king.” 

 

Belle Epoque Diamond Necklace & Mike Todd Diamond Chandelier Earrings 

 

There’s something truly romantic behind the way Elizabeth got her beautiful chandelier earrings. The actress originally bought the earrings at a boutique in Paris. But back then when she purchased the sparkly pair they were made from glass gems. However, it was not long before the jewellery pieces went from plain gems to magnificent diamonds. Elizabeth wrote about the special moment the earrings transformed in her book. “A few months later, back in New York, I was getting ready for a party and went to put them on. I opened the box, and the earrings looked all polished up. I put them on,” she wrote. “There was something different about how they fit. I said, ‘Mike, there’s something wrong with my earrings.’ He chuckled and said he’d had them made up with real diamonds!”

 

Emerald & Diamond Collection by Bvlgari 

 

After Mike Todd the actress went on to meet another man who understand her love for diamonds. Richard Burton proposed to Elizabeth with a platinum-set pendant featuring an 18.61 carat emerald surrounded by diamonds. This beautiful piece of jewellery had a remarkable feature. The bottom part of the pendant was able to detached and be warn as a brooch. Later, in their marriage Richard also gifted her with the famous Taylor-Burton Diamonds. It was a piece of jewellery that most certainly went down in history. The actor did everything in his power to present Elizabeth with this remarkable diamond. After losing the bid against Cartier at an auction Richard made sure he would make them a counter offer they couldn’t refuse. According to him the most beautiful diamond needed to be with the most beautiful woman (naturally, Elizabeth Taylor).

 

Diamond Pendant Earrings By Bvlgari

 

Saphire & Diamond Collection

Cultured Pearl & Diamond Ring by Ruser

 

Even though Elizabeth went on to have eight marriages, it was her love for diamonds that truly stuck. The actress once explained it was her job to look after these magnificent jewellery pieces while she was alive, only for her to pass it on to the next generation to enjoy. “I’ve never thought of my jewellery as trophies. I’m here to take care of them and to love them,” she said. Today, a few of her diamond jewellery pieces can be purchased at large diamond auctions worldwide.