Elizabeth Taylor and her passion for luxury jewellery


- June 2018 -

Elisabeth Taylor, born in 1932 was and still is a legendary star in the history of Hollywood. During the golden age of Hollywood, she stood out from others by her beauty, her talent and also her life of luxury and glamour.


Elizabeth TaylorHer eyes, of a deep violet, gave her a considerable advantage.
She began her acting career at the age of nine and was successful a year later in 1943, thanks to the film “Lassie Come back”. The following year she was noticed in the film “National Velvet” and received in 1957 her first Golden Globe. In 1960 she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in BUtterfield 8 with her husband Eddy Fisher.


In 1966 she received the same award for the film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, again with her husband, Richard Burton. She met him in 1963 on the set of Cleopatra in which he played the role of Mark Anthony. Fiction mixed with reality when their liaison was revealed by the press. The love story was followed by the crowds who saw the real-life couple on screen. This passion is symbolised by the diamonds that Liz receives from her dearest. Elizabeth Taylor earned lots of money for the film, for in 1963 she was the highest paid actress thanks to a million dollar contract.

Elizabeth Talor with earrings and braceletBut Elizabeth Taylor legend was also about precious jewels. The most beautiful diamonds passed through her hands, thanks to Richard Burton who was always looking for an opportunity to make her a gift of jewellery. Whether it was the 33.19 carat Krupp diamond, the 69.42 carat Taylor-Burton diamond or the Pelegrina, the historic pearl that he gave her on Valentine’s Day 1969, all had a particular signification for her. The passion of Elizabeth Taylor for luxury jewellery is still legendary today. Her numerous jewels could retrace the moments of passion and happiness of her life.

Mike Todd was another of Taylor’s loves. He gave her many sets of precious jewellery and a tiara. When he gave her the tiara, he said to her “You are my Queen, and you need a crown”. She wore it for the first time in 1957 at the Academy Awards and started a fashion that nobody had dared until then. She also sometimes wore her jewellery in her films, like in VIP in 1963.
Later, in 2005, Elizabeth Taylor launched the House of Taylor Jewellery, with Jack and Monty Abramov. Following the death of her friend Rock Hudson, she decided to spend all her time on charity work, in particular those that fight against AIDS. She helped to found amfAR (American Foundation for Aids Research) and then started her own foundation, the Elisabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. For a charity sale for amfAR at Christie’s as part of the “Glitter and Be Giving” campaign, Henry Dunay designed a Lachrymosa mask of diamonds weighing a total of 136 carats. Only in December 2011, the auction house, Christie’s, sold Elizabeth Taylors’ precious jewellery collection.

Noblemen, rich industrials and Hollywood stars formed the jet-set of that time. Worldly events and exceptional balls brought together mutual friends. The Proust Ball, organised by Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, as well as other charity organisations, brought together the cream of the international scene: Elizabeth Taylor, Grace of Monaco, Maria Callas, Maria Felix, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and many others.

Today, the trends and styles of luxury jewellery mostly come out of the workshops of international jewellery houses. However, their promotion is still made through certain events or via the cinema of Hollywood and Cannes. Every year, the red carpet entrance to the Cannes Film Festival, Oscars or Grammy Awards are events that almost overshadows the numerous fashion shows. For journalists, fans and even the stars themselves, the intensity of the moment has almost become more important than the prizes themselves. It is also an opportunity for jewellers to show their new designs. The appearance of a star in her most beautiful dress and wearing her most beautiful jewellery is an extraordinary publicity stunt. It is not opulence that counts, but class, chic and the originality of these one-night “Cinderella's” to whom the world’s most beautiful jewels are loaned. Some stars, such as Elizabeth Taylor, prefer to wear their own jewels. This old custom is rare nowadays, and should come back to immortalise jewellery divas.


Text ©World Luxury Jewellers




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