Elizabeth Taylor jewelry unveiled for world tour, December auction at Christie's

elizabeth-taylor-jewelry-collection.jpg Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away at the age of 79 in March, owned an expansive collection of jewels at the time of her death. Christie's auction house has unveiled her collection of 269 pieces that will be auctioned off in December.

But before the auction, the collection will go on an international tour, including Dubai, Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong and New York. The tour ends in New York for the four day auction Dec. 13-16.

"She was born with a great eye for jewelry," Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry at Christie's America, tells Reuters. "This is the greatest jewelry collection that Christie's has ever presented."

Christie's America chairman Marc Porter adds, "This collection is unlike anything we have offered before. It is a window on Elizabeth Taylor's life. [The auction] was a decision Elizabeth Taylor herself made a few years ago. She wanted someone new to enjoy them."

The collection includes many pieces given to Taylor by her two-time husband Richard Burton. There is the 33.19 carat white diamond ring that Burton gave Taylor in 1968, which is estimated to earn $2.5 million to $3.5 million alone.

There is also a 16th century pearl that Taylor used as a centerpiece in a ruby and diamond necklace, also a gift from Burton and pictured above. The necklace is valued at upwards of $2 million. Then there is an emerald/diamond necklace, pendant ring and bracelet set Burton bought for Taylor when they first fell in love on the set of "Cleopatra."

"She was born with a great eye for jewelry. This is the greatest jewelry collection that Christie's has ever presented." says Kadakia.

The aucition is expected to bring in more than $30 million. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.