This is one of those moments at which we’re not at all surprised but also flabbergasted at the same time. Last night, the dearly departed Elizabeth Taylor‘s jewelry collection raised over $116 million dollars at auction, and broke not one but several world records in the process.
The auction took place Tuesday night at Christies in New York City, where bidders raised their paddles in the air for everything from baubles Taylor got as gifts from Michael Jackson to a suite of emerald jewelry made by Bulgari.
Forbes reports that all 80 lots of jewelry were sold, and most of them went for amounts that far surpassed their estimated selling price. In addition to the total amount of money raised at the auction, the buying spree also broke six other world records, including the highest price paid for a ruby and the highest price paid for a colorless diamond.
But it was La Peregrina, a single pearl dating back to the 1600s, that took center stage at the event and went for the highest price at the auction. The pearl sold for an astounding $11.8 million — and it had only been estimated to sell for $2 million to $3 million.
The pearl wasn’t the only item that brought in multiple millions. The Eliabeth Taylor Diamond, a mammoth 33 karat stone that Taylor wore nearly every day, took $8.8 million, as did the Taj Mahal Diamond necklace that was believed to have been owned by the Indian emperor Shah Jahan.
Overall, the auction was estimated to bring in about $30 million, but it broke that benchmark with the sale of a handful of lots. And that’s just the jewelry. Taylor’s wardrobe and collection of art and home furnishings still has to be sold off — stay tuned for what will no doubt be record-breaking prices from those sales, too.