Magic Number 136

Elizabeth Taylor Exhibit

Elizabeth Taylor, one of the great Hollywood film legends and fashion icon of our day has recently passed away, leaving behind her massive jewelry collection. The collection went up for auction at Christie’s New York in early December.

Her collection is an array of diamonds, pearls, and precious stones amounting to 1,778 lots. Included were some royal jewels such as the famous La Peregrina, a 16 century pearl equivalent to about 55 carats that were once owned by England’s Mary Tudor and later on Spanish queens Margarita and Isabel.

One of the most notable pieces sold was made not of rare diamonds or gemstones, but of paper. Lot 136 – a suite of paper imitation jewelry consisting of a set of a matching necklace, earrings, and a pair of ear clips. It was a gift from Malcolm Forbes, the founder of Forbes magazine and old dear friend of Elizabeth Taylor. Their friendship was as legendary as the lives they led, and part of what they shared was a great sense of humor. She loved the gift of paper jewels, recounting the story in her 2002 book, My Love Affair With Jewelry.

Estimated to sell for $200-300, the piece shocked everybody when the last bid was in and it was sold for a grand $6,875. “It’s magic,” says Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas. “It’s not paper in this case. It would be paper if someone else owned it. But this was Elizabeth Taylor’s.”

Baroque Pearl Necklace

In Secret Sapphire here in Yaletown, we carry an exquisite collection of salt-water pearl jewelry, they are tasteful pieces that embody elegance.