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The Taj Mahal Diamond

During celebrations for Elizabeth’s fortieth birthday, Richard presented her with the historical Taj Mahal diamond, which he purchased for a reported cost of £350,000. “I would have liked to buy the Taj Mahal for Elizabeth,” joked Burton, “but it would have cost too much to transport it.”

The provenance of the piece is just as extraordinary as Elizabeth’s other gems—its former owner was the Shah Jahan, who was given the diamond by his father. Jehan then gave it to the woman who was the favourite of his wives, Queen Mumtāz in 1621. The gem is in inscribed with the words “Love Is Everlasting” in Parsee.

After the Taj Mahal Diamond was in her possession, Elizabeth had the original silk chord replaced with one fashioned with diamonds and rubies.

Back to Her Love Affair With Jewelry.

Elizabeth Taylor Archives © Copyright 2001-2009 Andrew Budgell