Jewelry Icon Elizabeth Taylor Dies

Legendary film star Elizabeth Taylor, who died March 23 at age 79 of congestive heart failure, was a fervent jewelry enthusiast and, for a brief time,
jewelry entrepreneur.

In 2002, the two-time Oscar-winning actress authored My Love Affair with Jewelry, a coffee-table book which displayed her
extensive collection of famous gems.

“The important thing to know about jewelry is that you never
really own it; you’re simply a custodian of beautiful things,” Taylor said in a
2007 interview
with JCK
. “Jewelry is something that strikes a chord in you, or it doesn’t.
But that chord can set you all a-quiver.”

The 69.42 carat pear-shaped Burton Taylor
diamond
, given to her in 1969, became one of the most famous jewels in
history, and was the basis of a Here’s Lucy episode.

She also owned the 33 carat Krupp diamond,
which she gushed about in a February interview
with Kim Kardashian for the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

“The Krupp is an extraordinary stone,” Taylor said.
“It has such life and brilliance when light shines through it. Size does
matter, but so does the size of the emotion behind it.”

In 2005, Taylor
founded the House of Taylor
jewelry company along with Kathy Ireland, but left
it
three years later.

More successful were her many jewelry auctions for
charity. A 2002 benefit auction at
Christie’s raised $258,000 for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS
Foundation. Among the items for sale: an $80,000 emerald and diamond ring
she had received from Richard Burton as an engagement gift in 1962.  The year before, she hosted
the “A Diamond Is Forever: Cinema Against Aids 2001″ auction at the Cannes
Film Festival, to benefit the American
Foundation for AIDS Research
(amfAR).

Don’t miss a story! Subscribe to JCK’s e-newsletter here.