Although Elizabeth Taylor has be dead for only a week, speculation has already started over her estate, which has been estimated to exceed $1 billion. It includes real estate and a fortune in jewelry, which is heading for auction.
It also seems like everything she owned or touched, from artwork, to clothing, to autographs, is soaring in value.
The bulk of her estate is expected to go to Taylor’s four children. But left unclear is what will happen to her posthumous income.
“The one thing she didn’t do was understand that, much like Elvis and Michael Jackson, she might be worth more in death,” according to one source.
If estimates of Taylor’s net worth are correct, she would be one of just 14 female billionaires. She not only earned income from films, but she’s also one of the first actresses to become a brand.
She extended her reach into other business ventures.
Her joint fragrance venture with cosmetics firm Elizabeth Arden launched in 1991. It includes the popular White Diamonds scent. The business alone has contributed considerably to her wealth, according to London’s Independent newspaper.
She was also one of the highest paid actress in a film career that spanned more than 60 years. She was paid $4 million to star in “Cleopatra” in 1963, a princely sum that would amount to $47 million today, adjusted for inflation.
Her real estate assets and jewelry collection are estimated to be worth $150 million each. Christie’s has been hired to auction the jewelry.
A ruby and diamond Cartier necklace from husband Mike Todd and the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond from her fifth husband, Richard Burton are heading to the auction block.
Her famous 69.42-carat pear-shaped Burton-Taylor diamond is also among the lots. It cost more than $1 million when Burton bought it for her in 1969.
Today, it would be worth $5.8 million just adjusting for inflation. But its history will undoubtedly raise its value considerably at auction.
Christie’s has yet to confirm whether the proceeds from the auction will be donated to charity, according to London’s Daily Mail.