The Taylor Burton Diamond


Elizabeth Taylor's Diamonds

As well as acting, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are famed for their multiple marriages, with thirteen weddings between them, two of them to each other! But Elizabeth Taylor is also famed for her love of jewellery, and with at least eight engagement rings and wedding rings as well as the Krupp Diamond to her name it’s hard to imagine that her ring collection could be upstaged. But it can, by the spectacular Taylor-Burton Diamond

Cut from a rough stone weighing 240.80 carats mined at Premier Mines, the stone was bought first by notable jeweller Harry Winston and cut amidst a great fanfare of media interest. The cut and polished stone was sold in 1967 to Harriet Annenberg, who sold it within two years stating that it was foolish to keep such a beautiful item for it to sit in a bank vault and not be enjoyed.

A Diamond Auction

The sale of this magnificent diamond caused quite a stir.The auction room was packed, and when bidding began the room erupted. People were excited doubly as the diamond was now coming with naming rights, and who wouldn’t want to have such an amazing gem named after them?

Many bidders battled for the diamond. One by one, they dropped away as the price rose higher and higher. Soon there was only two left – representatives of Cartier and of Richard Burton. It is said that when the hammer fell it was impossible to know who had won as the room erupted into chaos.

But when the furore settled down, it was not Richard Burton who had bought the ring, but Cartier.

Taylor Burton Diamond

Taylor-Burton Diamond

Burton was not to be outdone, and was soon on the telephone bidding to buy the now-named Cartier diamond, exclaiming "I don't care how much it is; go and buy it!"Soon a sale was agreed and the diamond was renamed The Taylor Burton Diamond.

Burton agreed that Cartier could display the diamond for a time, and it went to Chicago and New York where over 6000 people a day people queued around the block to get a glimpse of the outstanding diamond.

Taylor Burton diamond necklace

Stunning Diamond Necklace

Soon enough, Elizabeth Taylor made her first appearance wearing The Taylor Burton in a stunning necklace, choosing Princess Grace of Monaco’s 40th birthday as the event for its unveiling. The diamond and setting together made a spectacular display.

Some years later, Taylor sold The Taylor Burton to fund the building of a Botswanan hospital. Ownership passed to jeweller Henry Lambert, then on to a private collector, but it is still named The Taylor Burton and considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful diamonds.


Dianne is the blog and customer support fairy for online jewellery company 1791 Diamonds Limited, proud supplier of unique designer gold and platinum diamond engagement rings

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