It's no secret that Elizabeth Taylor loved her jewels. Intensely! And some of her most prized Bulgari pieces were right on our Access Hollywood Live set today — how cool is that! Many of the ladies on our staff were very excited to check out the jewelry firsthand. Oh, if those jewels could talk, right?
The jewels arrived in an armored vehicle and were accompanied by their own security detail.Total value? Priceless, of course!
Elizabeth first discovered Bulgari while shooting "Cleopatra" in Rome. Of course, that's where she also fell in love with her "Cleopatra" co-star Richard Burton. An emerald ring, known as the "Taylor Burton fiancee ring," was Burton's first gift to Taylor in 1962. Burton is said to have remarked "I introduced Liz to beer, she introduced me to Bulgari."
Next, Burton purchased a Bulgari diamond brooch with a 23 carat emerald, which he gave to Elizabeth for their engagement in 1962 and it was the only piece of jewelry she wore when they married in March of 1964.
After marrying, Richard bought a 60 carat emerald and diamond Bulgari necklace that the engagement brooch could attach to and be worn as a pendant. Elizabeth said, "It's like two for the price of one!" (That's me with the gorgeous necklace!) She continued to wear the diamond and emerald set many times, including when she won her second Oscar for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1967.
Other Bulgari jewels followed and Elizabeth amassed one of the most impressive collections in the world. Bulgari has acquired 8 pieces of Elizabeth's jewelry for its historical archives, which will be on display at Bulgari's new Beverly Hills boutique starting tomorrow through March 10th. If you can go, I strongly suggest it…It's hard to describe how exciting it is to see such a glamorous part of Hollywood history in person.
-- Ryan Patterson
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