DUBAI // A massive diamond worth an estimated US$3.5 million went on display yesterday in a collection of 60 pieces of jewellery from the late Elizabeth Taylor's collection.
The 33.19-carat Elizabeth Taylor Diamond was given to the actress by her husband Richard Burton in 1968.
"It was her favourite piece and she wore the ring every day," said Daphne Lingon, the senior vice president of jewellery at Christie's auctioneers.
Other highlights included the La Peregrina Pearl, set by Cartier in a necklace with pearls, diamonds and rubies at Taylor's behest. La Peregrina was discovered in the Gulf of Panama in the 16th century and is worth about $3 million.
Also on display was the Taj Mahal, an Indian diamond encased in a jade pendant and gold chain, and believed to have once belonged to the Mughal emperor Jehangir. He passed it on to Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal. The heart-shaped diamond in the pendant has an Arabic inscription, and is thought to be worth $500,000.
"It's breathtaking to see these diamonds and rubies up close," said Saba Abdul Rahman, who flew from Bahrain for the viewing.
"I've read Liz Taylor's book about her collection and know the background but to see these items with my own eyes is amazing."
Kelly Hartley, an American expatriate, organised a trip to see the collection with a group of her friends.
"I think they are beautiful and there is so much to see.
"My favourite things were the tiara and the ruby collection she was given by Mike Todd," she said.
Christie's is taking the jewellery on a world tour before it is sold at auction in New York in December. All 269 pieces in Taylor's collection are expected to fetch more than $30m, most of which will be donated to her charitable foundations.