Belfast Telegraph

Liz Taylor ring fetches £5 million

Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery collection has fetched a record-setting 115 million dollars (£74 million) at auction - including more than 11.8 million dollars (£7.6 million) for a pearl necklace.

More than 8.8 million dollars (£5.4 million) was the price of a 33.19-carat diamond ring given to her by Richard Burton - at an auction of gems and other memorabilia amassed by the late actress.

The pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, known as La Peregrina, bought in 1969 by Burton, who she married and divorced twice, reached the world record price of 11,842,500 dollars.

It was estimated to sell for up to three million dollars. The price surpassed the previous auction record for a pearl, set in 2007 at Christie's in New York.

The collection of Taylor's necklaces, earrings, pendants and rings and other gems went on sale at Christie's in New York. The ring was bought by a private buyer from Asia.

Among the other high-profile items was a diamond bracelet given to the National Velvet and Cleopatra actress by her close friend Michael Jackson, which sold for 194,500 dollars (£125,000).

Taylor, a screen goddess who also starred in classics such as Giant, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, died in Los Angeles in March aged 79.

A jewellery lover, she had pieces from some of the most famous names in the jewellery world, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chopard, in her collection.

Other sales of Taylor's art, clothing and memorabilia will be held later in the week. An online-only sale of some items runs until Saturday. Part of the proceeds will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Taylor's collection of impressionist and modern art is scheduled to go on sale at Christie's in London in February.

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