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Elizabeth Taylor was known as much for her movies as she was for her taste in jewels. But her relationship with Italian jewelry brand Bvlgari was legendary. “I introduced Liz to beer, she introduced me to Bvlgari,” husband Richard Burton famously quipped while filming "Cleopatra" with Taylor in 1962.


And it was during this time, the Oscar-winning actress would frequently visit Bvlgari’s flagship Via Condotti boutique to try their exquisite pieces. With a love affair in full bloom, Burton showered Taylor with extravagant gifts, mostly jewels from their favorite maison. 

Taylor, however, was also a true jewelry connoisseur, drawn to outstanding craftsmanship. Be it her emerald engagement ring, or the diamond and emerald necklace she wore at her wedding, the pieces are testaments to Taylor’s discerning taste. 

In 2011, the complete Elizabeth Taylor Collection (which included Bvlgari) was auctioned by Christie’s New York. It is, till date, one of the most valuable jewelry sales in history. The actress' jewelry sold for $115.9 million--a world record for a private jewelry collection sold at auction. The proceeds went to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

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As many of you already know, I worked for Bvlgari for 10 years. However, I didn't work for their jewelry division, I worked for their fragrance division as a fragrance specialist. Yet, I always felt as if I were selling jewelry because their fragrances are GEMS. To me, Bvlgari has created some of the most incredible women's and men's fragrances, not only in the industry, but in the world. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my job, and was proud, honored, and passionate to work for a company such as Bvlgari... 


This is their flagship store in New York City. It is located on 5th Avenue and 57th Street. I visited this store many times in the years that I worked for Bvlgari...


Every several years the company will redesign the outer facade of the store. Pictured below are just a few of the designs. I actually took the photo in the upper left-hand corner of this collage many years ago during one of my frequent visits to New York...


Here are only some of the exquisite Bvlgari pieces once owned by Taylor...

Platinum necklace with emeralds and diamonds


Tremblant brooch in platinum with emeralds and diamonds


Pendant earrings in platinum with emeralds and diamonds


Brooch/pendant in platinum with emerald and diamonds


 An emerald and diamond ring


Bvlgari Serpenti Watch
 

Yellow gold chain with diamonds and six antique Byzantine coins


Liz also admired sapphires...


Sautoir in platinum with sapphires and diamonds


Trombino ring in platinum with Burmese sapphire and diamonds



After seeing this collection, is there any wonder why she was cast as Cleopatra?

Bellissima!

Have a beautiful week, everyone!
💗

-Bvlgari





28 comments:

  1. Ron, I had no idea you once worked for Bvlgari. I've never purchased a single piece of B jewelry, but I have experienced their fragrances. Are you familiar with Omnia Crystalline? It's one of my favorite perfumes ever! And I love the bottle because it looks like jewelry.

    I knew that Elizabeth Taylor had a love of jewelry because I read her book. These pieces of Bvlgari are stunning. I'm speechless about how much her collection sold for at Christie's. Wow! And I think it's awesome that the proceeds went to her AIDS foundation. You're right about being cast as Cleopatra. She looks as though she was born to wear jewels. But for all her glitz and glamour, she was a very down to earth and compassionate lady.

    Jewel of a post, Ron! x

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  2. Oh, Ron, as a "September baby," I just LOVE sapphires, and I'm delighted you included Liz's here. What an exquisite collection of jewelry, and perhaps only somebody with Liz's persona could carry it off properly!


    I'm blown away by all these emeralds. Knowing Liz was born during February (the month for amethyst), I was surprised she didn't gravitate to that lovely purple gemstone. However, I suppose she learned early on that her purple-hued eyes were better enhanced by shades of green.


    Lovely, lovely post, my friend. And what cool building exteriors you've shown us -- no wonder you loved working for Bvlgari!! xo

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  3. That is an amazing collection. Wow on both the price and the fact that the proceeds were donated to charity! Was her birthday in May with all those emeralds? My fave piece is actually the chain with the Byzantine coins! I still love my gold, even though it’s fallen out of favor.

    What a flagship store! I’m not sure if I ever passed by it because how could I have missed that sort of design? I only remember going to Tiffany’s. Thanks for sharing such classical beauty!

    PS. I’ve been enjoying my dukkah on avocado toast. Will sprinkle some on asparagus for Easter!

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  4. Ron, I love the quote by Burton about introducing Liz to beer and she to Bvlgari. LOL! I have to say these pieces of jewelry are gorgeous. And I really like the men's watch in the collage you shared. That's something that is definitely my taste. I had heard of this company, but I didn't know they made watches and fragrances as well. Love the different store facades.

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  5. Hey there Candice!

    I've posted several posts about my job with Bvlgari throughout the many years of this blog, however, they were most likely before you and I started blogging together. I loved working for that company, however, it was purchased by Louis Vuitton about two years before I left, and that's when things started to change. It just wasn't the same company anymore.

    And YES, YES, YES! I know of Omnia Crystalline VERY well! In fact, I was part of the launch when it was released. I LOVED that fragrance as well. It's a brilliant fragrance because it's not overpowering, however, you can definitely smell it. I have to say that even I've worn it because it's such a universal fragrance. And I used to get so many compliments when I wore it.

    So true! For as glitzy and glamorous as she was, she was so down-to-earth and so compassionate.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an awesome week!

    X

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  6. "Oh, Ron, as a "September baby," I just LOVE sapphires, and I'm delighted you included Liz's here."

    OMG, Debbie, it's so funny you mentioned that because my mother was a September baby too and she LOVED sapphires! In fact, she had a gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring that was in the shape of a tree branch with leaves. And the leaves were all in sapphires and diamonds. My father bought it for her one year for her birthday.

    " Knowing Liz was born during February (the month for amethyst), I was surprised she didn't gravitate to that lovely purple gemstone. However, I suppose she learned early on that her purple-hued eyes were better enhanced by shades of green."

    You're absolutely right about amethyst being her birthstone. And she may have very well had some amethyst pieces in her jewelry collection, however, I only highlighted the pieces she got from Richard Burton and from Bvlgari. Eddie Fisher also bought her several Bvlgari pieces during their affair, which were white diamonds and yellow diamonds. I think they were earrings and a brooch.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Wednesday!

    X

    P.S. Yes, I loved the time I spent working for Bvlgari

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  7. Hi there, Daniel!

    I know, isn't that quote HILARIOUS? I laughed too!

    Yes, Bvlgari also makes watches too. They make them in Switzerland and they are so well-made! Bvlgari actually GAVE me a watch after working for them for a year. It was such a handsome watch. It was very simple and cleaning looking. I had it for years, until I eventually sold it because there was a time in my life many years ago, when I needed cash. And although I was grateful for the cash, I didn't get even close to what it was worth.

    My favorite men's fragrances are from Bvlgari. You can find them in most department stores (Macy's, Saks, Neiman Marcus). They're wonderful!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an grrrreat rest of your week!

    X

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  8. " Wow on both the price and the fact that the proceeds were donated to charity!"

    I know, can you BELIEVE that? She did a lot for AIDS in her lifetime, therefore, the money that was made from the auction went directly to AIDS research. I think she had that stated in her will.

    No, she was born in February, so her birthstone was amethyst. However, she LOVED emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. And of course DIAMONDS. LOL! She even created her own line of fragrances that were named after gemstones.

    " My fave piece is actually the chain with the Byzantine coins!"

    Me too! I love it because it sooooooo ROMAN! I also love the Bvlgari mirror in the second to last photograph because it's so ROMAN. She used that mirror in the movie, Cleopatra!

    Yes, the store is on 5th Ave, with 57th being the cross street. There is so much to look at on 5th Ave, so it's easy to miss things. Isn't Tiffany's faaaaaaaaabulous?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! And I am so happy to hear that you're enjoying the Dukkah. Isn't it AWESOME? It's such a perfect thing to add to most anything.

    X

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  9. Ooo, Ron, loved this post! Not only do I love sparkly jewelry, but I was a big fan of Liz Taylor! These photographs of her jewelry made my mouth water LOL! I love them all, but I'm partial to the emeralds because that's my birthstone. I was born in May. When I read the total of what was made from the auction at Christie's, I couldn't believe my eyes. $115.9 million?!?!? Holy cow, that is unbelievable! And what makes me love and respect her even more is what she had them do with that money. What sweetheart she was.

    I truly think that she and Burton were soulmates. They loved each other passionately, yet they fought like cats and dogs. I always though that "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf" was subliminaly a portion of their real life together. She was so good in film. And so was he.

    Did you ever buy anything from Bvlgari while you were employed? Did they give their employees any kind of discount? Sorry, I'm so nosey LOL!

    Fantastic post, Ron! And I love the photos you included with Liz and Richard together. xo

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  10. Hey, Ron! I didn't know you worked for Bvlgari--that's so cool!

    And I didn't know they changed the store's facade. Im so glad you posted those different versions.

    I love those black & white photos of Liz & Dick. It's just incredible to see these two legends in their prime.

    The jewelry images are stunning. I don't know much about gems, but their beauty is undeniable.

    Great post, buddy! Take care!

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  11. Hey there Elaine!

    " I love them all, but I'm partial to the emeralds because that's my birthstone. I was born in May."

    The emeralds are my favorite as well. And I think it's because of my love of the color GREEN. My birthstone (October) is an Opal, though. Think Opals are beautiful, but they are not one of my personal favorite gemstones.

    I know, can you believe the total of sales at the auction? I had to read it twice because I didn't believe what I was seeing. HA!

    She did so much for AIDS research in her lifetime. But she also contributed to other causes as well. She loved animals and gave to various charities and shelters.

    I LOVE what you said here...

    "I truly think that she and Burton were soulmates. They loved each other passionately, yet they fought like cats and dogs. I always though that "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" was subliminally a portion of their real life together. She was so good in that film. And so was he."

    YES to all of that. They were like magnets to each other, but I think they were so much alike that there was a lot of conflict as well.

    No, can you believe that I never purchased a single thing while employed at Bvlgari? After a year of working there, the company GAVE me a watch though. It was beautiful. And yes, they were very generous with their discount. They had something called "friends and family" which allowed us to go to the NYC store and purchase once a month. But it was a limited amount. The discount they gave us was 65%, which was awesome!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Have a grrrrrrreat rest of the week!

    X

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  12. Hellooooooooo there Rob!

    Yup! I worked for them for TEN years. It was probably one of my favorites jobs I ever had. However, the company was bought by another company (Louis Vuitton) and changed so many things. So, it was time for me to resign.

    "I love those black & white photos of Liz & Dick. It's just incredible to see these two legends in their prime."

    You said it!

    To be honest, as much as I appreciate jewelry and think it's beautiful, I don't have the desire to wear it myself. I don't even wear a watch HA! Jewelry is something I enjoy seeing on other people.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have an awesome rest of your week!

    X

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  13. Ron, one word about this post..."eye candy!" Out of all gemstones, sapphires are my fave. I remember ordering my high school ring and getting a sapphire. I LOVED that ring! Unfortunately I lost it, and don't know how. I knew that you worked for Bvlgari from previous posts, but you always talked about the fragrance, not the jewelry. However, I don't think I knew you worked for them for TEN years. How wonderful! I've never used any of Bvlgari fragrances, but I did use (in college) Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. Remember that one? I think they still make it. I'm in shock about the $115.9 million auction sale. Oh my god$$$$

    Beautiful collage of Liz and Richard in the movie, Cleopatra. They made such an attractive couple!

    Thank you for sharing, Ron. I'm fascinated by the different occupations you've had in your working career. xo

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  14. Hola Denise!

    "I remember ordering my high school ring and getting a sapphire. I LOVED that ring!"

    That's awesome! My high school ring was a gold sapphire, which I gave to my partner when he and I were together because he loved it. I wonder if he still has it?

    I loved my time Bvlgari. It's the longest it was ever with any company. However, after Louis Vuitton bought them, everything changed. And that's why I resigned.

    "I did use (in college) Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. Remember that one? I think they still make it."

    Yup, I sure do! And yes, they still do make it. In fact, at Christmas time it's one of the biggest sellers!

    Can you believe the total auction sale?!? Incredible!

    Liz and Richard were such an attractive couple, yes!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat rest of your week!

    X

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  15. Ron, you're going to love this. About 7 years ago when my husband and I were in Italy, we visited the Bvlgari store in Rome. We didn't purchase anything, we just wanted to have a look around. It was magnificent! The people who worked in the store were so welcoming and friendly. I am so impressed that you worked for the company. And for TEN years! I think if I had worked for them, I would have mostly likely used my salary to pay for all the things I would have purchased LOL!

    Love these photos. Especially the ones of Liz and Richard. Bellissima!

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  16. Hi Ron, what a fabulous collection and even more wonderful to read about the sale monies being donated to her charity. That is truly the mark of a compassionate human being.

    Like Ms. Taylor, I was also born in February and the amethyst and anything purple are favorites of mine. That said those emeralds and sapphires were quite astounding, even better than diamonds.

    By the way, we went to the local Trader Joe's in Nashua, NH, this week searching for dukkah without success. We were advised that it was in stock earlier in the year, but not carried there now. But it is available on Amazon as you may have noted in your post.

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  17. OMG, I am so jealous, Clair! That's FANTASTIC! I can just imagine how awesome the experience was!

    I have to tell you that when I first started with Bvlgari, during the first five years, they had a yearly contest for all the fragrance specialists in our district. Whoever did the had the highest sales each year, would win an all-expense paid trip to the Bvlgari Spa in Milan for five days! Everything was paid for (your room at the hotel/spa, your plane fare, and $300.00 in cash to spend on whatever you wanted). Unfortunately, I never won a trip because the store in NYC (Macy's Herald Square) always beat us out because they had much more client, being that it was New York City. However, my store in Philly was always a close-runner up.

    "I think if I had worked for them, I would have mostly likely used my salary to pay for all the things I would have purchased LOL!"

    Believe it not, I never purchased a single thing in my whole ten years. The company gave me a watch after my first year, which was very generous of them.

    Aren't the photos of Liz and Richard so cool? They look so sexy together!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story, Clair. Really enjoyed it! Have a great rest of your week!

    X

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  18. Hey there D!

    Wasn't her collection faaaaaaaaabulous? And this is not even the complete Bvlgari collection because she received many other pieces from Eddie Fisher during their time together. She may have even received some from Mike Todd as well.

    "Like Ms. Taylor, I was also born in February and the amethyst and anything purple are favorites of mine. That said those emeralds and sapphires were quite astounding, even better than diamonds."


    Amethyst is SUCH a gorgeous gemstone! I have several amethyst crystals in my apartment that I got years ago. They're just lovely.

    Thank you for letting me know about your search for dukkah, because I had the same experience. However, I will tell you that one of my readers here found it in her Trader Joe's, can you believe that? She said that there were about 10 on the shelf, so she purchased two. She LOVES it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great rest of your week! I can't believe that Easter is SUNDAY?!?

    Happy April!

    X

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  19. Ron, thanks for letting me know about White Diamonds! The next time I'm in the mall, I'll have to stop by the fragrance counter and smell it again, just for the memories. Isn't it funny how a perfume will so often remind you of things?

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  20. Yes, absolutely! Scent, whether is be from a perfume, food, etc., has the most powerful effect on our memories. I LOVE my sense of smell. In fact, I smell everything. HA!

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  21. That collection is beyond stunning. I'm not sure anyone but Liz would be able to carry off wearing such exquisite pieces. But, they do look very heavy! My birthstone is a garnet and I've really never seen one that is very pretty. Our girls' birthstones are Aquamarine and Blue Topaz; Peanut and Entrepreneur's are a Sapphire and Twix's is an Amethyst. I've never been in a Bvlgari store but would probably be terrified to touch the cases! Thanks for sharing such beautiful gems. X

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  22. Yes, I agree, Lisa, they DO look very heavy! Ooooo....I love garnet! My brother's birthstone is garnet as well! I also love rubies.

    " Our girls' birthstones are Aquamarine and Blue Topaz; Peanut and Entrepreneur's are a Sapphire and Twix's is an Amethyst."

    That's AWESOME! Thank you for sharing that! The other day while I was at work, one of my customers picked up a ring she had custom made that had an Aquamarine stone. It was beautiful!

    HA! Actually, they are very laid back in the NY Bvlgari store. They do have security guards positioned around the store because it has two levels. However, the sales representatives are inviting and friendly.

    Thank so much for stopping by, my friend. Enjoy the rest of your week! Gosh, I can't believe Sunday is Easter!?!

    X

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  23. comprRon, dude, the pictures you shared of the jewelry ROCK! My girlfriend wanted me to tell you that had she known you worked for Bvlgari, she would have asked you to buy her something with your discount. LOL!!!! Only kidding. She likes the jewelry, I like (LOVE) that men's watch! I also like that serpent watch as well. Very cool looking. I don't think I knew you worked for Bvlgari. Wow....10 years?!?! That's longer than I've ever stayed with one job.

    We both gasped when we read the total of what the auction got from the collection. I can't even comprehend that much money! Very kind of her to donated it to AIDS.

    Love the shots of the exterior of the store. Each one is really beautiful.

    Have a great weekend. And Happy Easter!

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  24. Hiya Matt!

    LOL! It's so funny you mentioned what you girlfriend said about using my discount because whenever I tell people that I used to work for Bvlgari, they say that same thing! Please tell her if I still did, I'd be more than happy to let her use my discount because we used to have something called, "friends and family" discount that we were permitted to use (and share) once a month.

    Isn't that men's watch faaaaaaaaaabulous? I love it too. The Serpenti is so cool, isn't it? I think she got that as a gift from Richard while they were filming Cleopatra.

    Yes, TEN years, can you believe it? It's the longest I have EVER stayed with the same job. And believe it or not, those ten years flew by so fast.

    Me too. I can't comprehend that much money either. She did so much for AIDS research during her lifetime.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Easter to you too! Enjoy your weekend!

    X

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  25. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comTuesday, April 06, 2021

    Wow - those jewels are magnificent!

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  26. Aren't they glorious?

    Elizabeth Taylor and jewelry are synonymous LOL!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Fiona! Have a super week!

    X

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  27. They have beautiful things, to be sure, but so not me. I do love the look of sapphires and emeralds, though. So amazing that the earth creates them.

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  28. Me as well! I can appreciate the beauty, but I have no desire to personally own it or wear it.

    But Liz was MEANT for jewelry! 💍

    X

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