No one rocked the Oscar red carpet quite like Elizabeth Taylor, and no other Oscar jewel topped the shock factor of this little gem worn by Miss Liz.
From Angelina’s Lorraine Schwartz emerald earrings in 2009 to Gwyneth Paltrow’s diamond necklace in 2000, beautiful gems not only make a big splash at the Oscars – they make history. In honor of Oscar week, we’d like to highlight one of the Academy Awards’ most sparkling specimens (#1 on the Jewelry Insider’s Oscar Top Ten List) Elizabeth Taylor’s 69-carat diamond set in a Cartier necklace taken from her (um) personal collection, of course.
Known as the Taylor-Burton diamond (and the first $1 million diamond to be sold at auction), Burton purchased the smashing stone from Cartier in 1969 for his beautiful bride. The diamond was subsequently set in a necklace for Taylor to wear to the 1970 Academy Awards. When Taylor appeared in a revealing dress made by the legendary Edith Head with the Taylor-Burton diamond around her neck – the world got a glimpse of perhaps the best Oscar jewelry moment in history.
Said Ms. Taylor about the stone, “Originally, I wore the diamond as a ring, but even for me it was too big, so we had Cartier design a necklace. I’m still sick that I sold it some years later.” Taylor auctioned the diamond in 1978 after divorcing Burton for $5,000,000, which was used to build a hospital in Botswana. Its current owner is jewelry juggernaut, Robert Mouawad, who had the diamond re-cut to a mere 68.0 carats.