Crazy Diamonds

Elizabeth Taylor, fine jewelry, auction, Christie's

The Mike Todd Diamond TIara was expected to sell for $60,000 to $80,000, but sold for $4.2 million.

I watched some of the Elizabeth Taylor Legendary Jewels auction live stream last night, and it was mind-blowing. Apparently there are a lot of people who are not suffering from the recession. The auction broke seven world records and raised 116 million dollars, some of which will go to The Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. I wonder who is getting the rest?

Elizabeth Taylor, fine jewelry, auction, Christie's

The Tak Mahal heart-shaped diamond sold for $8.8 million, which is more than $8 million over the estimated price.

I was watching in amazement as the estimated prices were shattered by eager bidders from all around the world. Apparently only two pieces sold within the estimated price. What does this mean? I wonder why people were so eager to get their hands on her jewels? I suppose there were some very rare pieces, and some of them were custom, but regardless, these pieces ended up being very, very expensive.

Elizabeth Taylor, fine jewelry, auction, Christie's

The "La Peregrina" pearl has been worn by Mary Tudor and Spanish queens Margarita and Isabel. Its estimate was $2 to $3 million but sold for $11.8 million.

I imagine, or I hope, people are buying these pieces as art and/or collector’s items, not just to wear. It seems unethical to buy a piece of jewelry for that much money (imagine how many families you could feed for that price), but I suppose given that these are extremely unique, rare pieces, it is more acceptable. Sort of.

Elizabeth Taylor, fine jewelry, auction, Christie's

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond sold for $8.8 million, more than $5 million over the estimated price.

Some of the highlights include The Taj Mahal diamond, which was estimated to sell for $300,000-$500,000, and sold for $8.8 million. The Elizabeth Taylor diamond, a 33.19 carat diamond ring, had an estimate of $2.5 to 3.5 million dollars, and sold for $8.8 million. The most expensive piece ended up being “La Peregrina,”a  the 16th Century pearl set onto a necklace by Cartier, which sold for 11.8 million dollars (its estimate was $2 to $3 million.) According to the BBC, the pearl “has been depicted in artwork for centuries and was once painted by 17th Century Spanish artist Velazquez.”

Anyway, well done to Christie’s for live streaming the auction, it was amazing to watch. Let’s hope that money goes to finding a cure for Aids.

Images from the Christie’s Catalogue.