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Elizabeth Taylor jewelry: Who will buy her bling?

Elizabeth Taylor jewelry: Will Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé next be wearing her diamonds and pearls – or will a billionaire collector hide them from the world?

Elizabeth Taylor's ruby and diamond necklace, a gift of Mike Todd, estimated at $200,000 - $300,000, is shown at Christie's in New York on Sept. 1. Christie’s auction house is selling her complete jewelry collection in New York on Dec. 13-14.

Richard Drew/AP

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With her movie star glamour and love of the luxe life, Elizabeth Taylor gave meaning to the phrase “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Her passing on March 23 left a palpable vacuum: Who can possibly assume such a glittering mantle?

Now that Ms. Taylor’s treasured collection of pricey baubles is on a world tour with Christie’s, destined for their New York auction on December 13 and 14, the opportunity exists for some tastemaker to spring for jewels that are almost as famous as the woman who wore them.

The thing is, many of today’s celebrities borrow their jewels for red carpet events like the Academy Awards. For the most part, they don’t swan around in their own diamonds, opting instead to adorn themselves with loaned Harry Winston rocks.

A notable exception is Kim Kardashian, who received a 20.5 carat diamond engagement ring from Kris Humphries worth $2.1 million and affects an extremely high maintenance appearance when out in public. Perhaps her new husband will gift her with one of Taylor’s choice pieces, such as ‘La Peregrina,’ an early 16th century pearl, diamond, and ruby necklace worn by European queens. Now worth $3 million, the necklace cost Richard Burton $37,000 when he bought it at a Sotheby’s auction and gave it to Taylor for Valentine’s day.

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