Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Will Marry for Jewelry" - Who Said That?

It would be Elizabeth Taylor.  Of her eight marriages, her final score was six whales  and two goldfish equivalents - Michael Wilding and Larry Fortensky - neither off whom was able to support themselves, let alone Liz. 

She began a long career in wheeling, cajoling and blackmailing for expensive jewelry from them all by marrying Nicky Hilton when she was only 18 years old.  She netted a five carat engagement ring and a $10,000 wedding ring as well as pearl and diamond earrings.  Nicky's father, Conrad, was so thrilled at the marriage that he gave her 100 shares of Hilton stock ($1,350) but 30 years later it was worth $150,000.

Elizabeth never accepted a "No" answer and when it was Michael Wilding's turn in the barrel, she went out and bought herself a sapphire and diamond ring and loudly told all that it was an engagement ring from him!  With pressure like that ...

Wilding rarely had work so she paid for everything.  And then she met Mike Todd and the payday went proportionately higher.  She was 24 and he 52.  He bought her a 29.7 carat diamond ring,   leased a plane (and then spent $5,000 to install two phones in it.)  He rented homes in Beverly Hills, Palm Springs and an estate in Westbury, CN.  They had met on a Saturday and Todd gave her something every Saturday as an anniversary present.   Alas, his days were numbered...

Next!  Eddie Fisher slid into home plate.  For her 27th birthday, he gave her an evening bag with 27 real diamonds on it.  He took her to Dior, Paris, and bought her 10 Yves St Laurent dresses.  He also bought a 13 room house with pool and tennis courts in Purchase, NY, land in Jamaica and paid $325,000 for a chalet in Gstaad. 

And then came the biggest fish - Richard Burton.  He paid $305,000 for the Krupp diamond, weighing in at 33.19 carats.  It was said to most closely resemble an ice cube on her finger.  He followed that up with the La Peregina, a famous  pearl.  He bought her a yacht ($192,000) and tossed $240,000 more in to decorate it.  He bought a 10-passenger twin jet with kitchen, lounge and movie screen christened "The Elizabeth."  And still the jewelry kept coming in.

And so did the paintings found in her budding art collection.  Here's a drool for you - Picasso, Utrillo, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Modigliani and Van Gogh. 

(sigh) They don't make gold diggers like they used to and it's a shame.

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