Elizabeth Taylor's jewels expected to fetch $30 million at auction

"La Peregrina", a Cartier pearl, diamond and ruby necklace (L) and a pair of Bulgari pearl and diamond ear pendants (R) owned by US actress Elizabeth Taylor on display during a preview of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor December 1, 2011 at Christie's in New York. The jewelry in Taylor's collection will go on sale December 13, this necklace is estimated at USD 2 million to 3 million. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images) STAN HONDA

"La Peregrina," a Cartier pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, left, and a pair of Bulgari pearl and diamond ear pendants owned by actress Elizabeth Taylor on display during a preview of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, Dec. 1, 2011, at Christie's in New York.
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(CBS) Elizabeth Taylor's stunning jewelry collection is hitting the auction block this week, with sales expected to reach $30 million.

The jewels are being sold by Chrisite's auction house, along with an array of the late Hollywood icon's clothing, artwork and other possessions. The entire collection is expected to fetch at least $50 million.

Pictures: Elizabeth Taylor collection on display
Pictures: Her life and career
Special section: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

The collection has been on display at Christie's New York location. Since it opened on Dec. 3, about 3,000 visitors per day have come out - at $30 per ticket - to view the exhibit. The jewelry was there, along with rooms full of colorful caftans, fine art, stacks of Louis Vuitton luggage, movie scripts and other memorabilia. The exhibit closes on Friday.

Sales start Tuesday evening with Taylor's jewelry on the auction block. Wednesday's sale is dedicated to her jewelry and haute couture, Thursday is fashion and accessories, and Friday is fine art and film memorabilia, including costumes.

Highlighting the jewelry collection is The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, a 33.19 carat, asscher-cut stunner that was a gift from her husband Richard Burton. Burton purchased the stone, also known as the Krupp diamond, at auction in 1968 for a reported $305,000 - it's expected to fetch $2.5 million-$3.5 million on Tuesday.

There's also La Peregrina, a 16th century pear-shaped pearl given to her by Burton. It's set in a ruby and diamond necklace by Cartier and is estimated at $2 million-$3 million. Other highlights include The Taj Majal Diamond, a 17th century diamond pendent purchased by Burton and set in a Cartier gold and ruby chain (estimated at $300,000-$500,00); a tiara given to her by husband Mike Todd (estimated at $60,000-$80,000); and a sapphire and diamond necklace by Bulgari that Burton gave her as a 40th birthday present (estimated at $600,000 - $800,000).

A separate online sale also kicked off on Dec. 3 and will continue through the 17th. That sale features more than 950 items of fine jewelry, fashion, accessories and other memorabilia ranging from an estimated $100 up to $10,000.

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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