Ballard & Ballard Fine Jewelers continues our series on Diamond Engagement Rings and Jewelry of the Legends with a piece on the Taylor-Burton Diamond. Is there any classic Hollywood marriage that has compared to the soap opera turns and twists and the passion of the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton romance? In addition, when you have a world famous diamond named after you, you know that you truly are legendary Hollywood stars. Beyond her movies and charity work, Elizabeth Taylor was always well known for her love affair with both Richard Burton and diamonds.
During their romance, the dashing British actor presented her with many stunning and historical baubles, including what became known as the Taylor-Burton diamond. The incredible 69-carat pear-shaped Cartier diamond was an engagement gift that was too big to be worn as a diamond engagement ring. Instead, Elizabeth Taylor wore it as a necklace surrounded by hundreds of smaller diamonds. Luckily, this well-publicized gift from her fifth husband did not look out of place on the neck of the classic beauty. In fact, it only enhanced her beauty, revealing a rare compatibility between a legendary diamond and an incomparable woman.
Before buying what would become known as the Taylor-Burton diamond, Richard Burton purchased several stunning jewels for his beloved. In 1968, he bought Elizabeth Taylor the 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond. Ms. Taylor later wore the diamond in a stunning ring during her interview on CNN’s Larry King Live in 2003. For Elizabeth’s 40th birthday in 1972, Richard Burton gave her a heart-shaped diamond known as the Taj-Mahal. When asked why he bought her so many expensive diamonds, Burton replied: “I would have liked to buy her the Taj-Mahal, but it would cost too much to transport. This diamond has so many carats, its almost a turnip. Diamonds are an investment. When people no longer want to see Liz and I on the screen, then we can sell off a few baubles.”
By far the best known of Richard Burton’s gift was the incredible 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond that later would be called the Taylor-Burton Diamond. It was cut from a rough stone weighing 240.80 carats found in the Premier Mine in 1966. After Richard Burton acquired it, Elizabeth Taylor wore the Taylor-Burton in public for the first time when she attended Princess Grace’s 40th birthday party in Monaco. In 1978, following her divorce from Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor announced that she was putting the Taylor-Burton diamond up for sale so she could donate part of the proceeds to build a hospital in Botswana. New York Jeweler Henry Lambert bought the Taylor-Burton Diamond for $5,000,000.
Ballard & Ballard Fine Jewelers is proud to be able to tell the story of the legends and their famous jewels and diamond engagement rings. You do not, however, have to be a millionaire or a famous actor to buy your beloved a beautiful diamond engagement ring or precious piece of jewelry. Through value engineering and custom computer aided design, the jewelry experts at Ballard & Ballard Fine Jewelers can help turn your dreams into a vibrant reality. After all, every woman should feel like Elizabeth Taylor felt when you slip a diamond engagement ring on her finger and ask her to be your eternal love.