Elizabeth Taylor was a fashion icon, both for her extensive collection of outfits and for her expensive jewels worth thousands of dollars. But some of her most famous diamonds were a small, three-piece set of rings gifted to her by her husband Richard Burton.
The gift was the result of a ping-pong game in 1970, according to Insider. Burton promised Taylor that if she could beat him by 10 points, he would buy her a diamond. Insider reports she beat him by 30 points, and so he left “to find the smallest diamonds he could in town.” The three diamond rings are the result of that bet and have come to be known to the public as the “ping-pong rings” (via Insider).
Taylor often wore the three rings along with the 68-carat Taylor-Burton diamond, according to The National News. When people complimented the larger diamond, she’d apparently hold out the ping-pong rings instead and say, “Isn’t it perfect?” (per The National News).
WHERE ARE THE RINGS NOW?
Plenty of Elizabeth Taylor’s pieces come with stories. A pearl she received from Richard Burton, known as the Wanderer, was even rumored to be cursed. But the story of the ping-pong rings is famous to those familiar with Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection. She wore the rings often and was happy to show them off, according to Haydon & Company.
Despite their fame, the rings don’t look too impressive on their own. According to The National News, each ring has one diamond that is about an eighth of a carat. That isn’t much when compared to Taylor’s other jewels, many of which were also gifts from Richard Burton (via Popsugar). The ping-pong diamond rings, however, still sold for an impressive $134,500 at auction in 2011, according to The National News. Several of Taylor’s other pieces were also auctioned off, and the sale brought in about $156.8 million.