Among the pieces were a diamond tiara gifted to her by one of her seven ex-husbands, the producer Mike Todd, a diamond and platinum bracelet from her friend Michael Jackson and several necklace and earing sets decked with emeralds, diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
The most spectacular piece, a gift from Richard Burton, who Taylor married twice, is the “Peregrina”, a 16th century pearl worn by a succession of Spanish and Austrian queens which Burton bought for $37,000 at an auction in 1969 and became the centrepiece of a pearl, diamond and ruby necklace.
When sold by Christie’s on December 13, the Peregrina is expected to fetch between $2-3 million.
A ring inlaid with diamonds and a huge ruby, said by Burton to be “the perfect red” is valued at between $1-1.5 million.
Another gift from the actor to his wife, a hulking 33.19-carat diamond ring Taylor always wore, is worth an estimated $2.5-3.5 million.
Francois Curiel, international head of jewellery and president of Christie’s in Asia, said he was “amazed” by the depth of the film star’s jewellery knowledge when he met her in 1998 in Los Angeles to asses her collection.
The jewellery is being sold at the request of Taylor’s family and will be followed the next day by an auction of 269 other items.
The total value of the sale could reach $30 million, Christie’s said.
About 400 dresses, lavish accessories and other mementoes were previously sold at the Rockefeller Center in New York following Taylor’s death in March.
A percentage of the money raised will go to charity, notably the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.