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Inspiration From Elizabeth Taylor’s Collection

Although she was a remarkably talented actress and model, an advocate for AIDS charities and a great beauty, the first thing that springs to mind when many people think of Elizabeth Taylor is her remarkable jewelry collection. Born into a wealthy family, she began collecting jewelry at a young age and continued throughout her life. When it came up for auction in 2011, her jewelry collection sold for over $115 million, a record amount. In addition to her well-known collection of engagement rings, she also owned necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that you can take inspiration from for your personal collection.

The La Peregrina Pearl

Queen Mary I of England, wearing the Le Peregrina Pearl, 1516-1558.

Queen Mary I of England (1516-1558), wearing the Le Peregrina Pearl.

As a Valentine’s Day gift, Richard Burton purchased the La Peregrina pearl and gave it to Elizabeth. The pear-shaped pearl weighed over 55 carats when it was discovered, and for a long time, it was the biggest pearl in the world. Before Burton bought it, the pearl had a long string of famous owners, including Queen Mary I of England. Elizabeth had the pearl reset into a necklace with diamonds, rubies, and smaller pearls to complement it. The design allows the La Peregrina to hang down from the main choker and steal the focus from the other gems.

Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds

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In addition to her love for diamonds, Elizabeth also loved gemstones in rich colors and used both together to a stunning effect. Matching sets of gemstone jewelry were a large part of her collection, perfect for night or day wear. She owned a Bulgari bracelet with a large row of emeralds spaced out evenly with square diamonds, complemented with round and pear-shaped diamonds on each end, along with a necklace and brooch in a similar pattern. Get a similar look by choosing one gemstone to center your look around, and using it in your necklace, earrings and any other major pieces you wear.

The Engagement Rings

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Elizabeth was famously married eight times and had a wide assortment of engagement rings, including traditional diamond solitaires and sapphire rings. However, she also accepted other forms of jewelry as engagement tokens, including a bracelet from Eddie Fisher when he proposed to her and a necklace from Richard Burton before they were first married. Elizabeth liked to be unusual and start trends and was one of the first famous women at the time of her engagement to Michael Wilding to have a sapphire engagement ring. The lesson here is to never be afraid to take a risk with your jewelry and change up your look. Be a trendsetter by choosing bold pieces and being confident when you wear them.

Elizabeth Taylor was known as one of the most stylish women in the world, and her jewelry collection was a large part of that reputation. Take inspiration from her timeless collection as you grow your own.

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