A priceless chance to buy Liz Taylor's jewels

They will surely be the most glistening and glamorous sales of the season. With grieving for the movie star Elizabeth Taylor, who died on 23 March, barely over, Christie's has announced plans for a series of auctions featuring some of the late actress's belongings and, notably, her jewellery.

When she succumbed in her Los Angeles home to congestive heart failure, Taylor will have known that the fascination the world showed for her had never faded and had to do with more than just her screen performances. It was her beauty that grabbed us, her love affairs, her eight marriages and, yes, her jewels. She reportedly owned some of the most important stones in the world.

It was her jewel box, of course, that provided the inspiration for one of Taylor's most successful lines of scent. When she launched the White Diamonds fragrance in 1991, a television advertising campaign famously saw her ripping off a diamond earring and throwing it into a card game. "They have always brought me luck," she said.

Luck and some healthy bidding will also be what Christie's will be looking for when it puts Taylor's stones as well as her clothing collection and other personal memorabilia under the gavel in its New York sales rooms later this year. The auction house said that it would be releasing further details later this spring.

Christie's has said nothing about the likely value of the Taylor collection or, indeed, where the proceeds will go. The actress was famous as a prolific philanthropist and one of the earliest backers of efforts to contain and find a cure for HIV Aids. In 1999, she donated the dress she wore at the 1969 Academy Awards for a Christie's auction that raised $786,120 (£490,374) for Aids research.

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