La Peregrina Pearl

December 15, 2011 by staff 

La Peregrina Pearl, The record-breaking $116 million sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s “legendary” jewelry collection at Christie’s Tuesday night took even the auctioneers’ breath away. Fair estimates on each of the 80 pieces suggested they would bring in some $30 million or more. But $116 million? It was “the magic of Miss Taylor present in the room,” one auctioneer said, that led to record prices on so many items.

Greenwich resident and gem expert Simon Teakle was there at the auction, one of an estimated 800, he said, that filled Christie’s auction room. Teakle, who works for Betteridge Jewelers as a finder and seller of precious jewels, had brought along a shopping list for a couple of clients.

He wouldn’t do much buying.

“Money had a secondary role at the auction,” Teakle said “It was all about the objects and the people wanting them. Astonishing prices were achieved.”

Teakle was especially thrilled over the $11 million plus auction price of the 16th century La Peregrina Pearl once owned by the King of Spain. “It was a really special jewel,” Teakle said. He counted the pearl as one of three “incredibly rare items” at the auction, the other two being the Elizabeth Taylor diamond ring that sold for $8 million plus, and the Taj Mahal diamond necklace, said to have been given to the woman who inspired the Taj Mahal, which sold for another $8 million plus. “These pieces fully deserved to make spectacular prices,” Teakle said.

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