Names in the news, Sept. 8

Posted Sept. 07, 2011, at 6:39 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 07, 2011, at 11 p.m.

Elizabeth Taylor (photo) amassed one of the foremost jewelry collections in the world, including a 33.19-carat diamond ring and a 16th-century pear-shaped pearl from one of her seven husbands, Richard Burton. The Associated Press recently viewed about two dozen of her most iconic pieces at Christie’s auction house, which is selling her complete jewelry collection, valued at $30 million, in New York on Dec. 13-14. “These are the top jewels that Elizabeth Taylor received from the great loves of her life, Mike Todd and Richard Burton,” said Christie’s jewelry expert Rahul Kadakia. It’s an extraordinary collection of rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires in intricate and bold designs. Among the standouts is the 16th-century La Peregrina, one of the largest and most symmetrically perfect pear-shaped pearls in the world, which Burton purchased for Taylor in 1969 as a Valentine ‘s Day gift. The two had met in Italy on the set of the 1963 film “Cleopatra,” and married for the first time in 1964. Burton was enamored of historical pieces, and in 1972 purchased the famous 17th-century Taj Mahal diamond pendant for Taylor’s 40th birthday. The transaction took place at John F. Kennedy International Airport because the couple didn’t have time to run into the city before catching a plane, said Kadakia. … Cowboy hats, costumes and saddles from John Wayne’s estate are among the items that will go up for auction in Los Angeles next month. Heritage Auctions spokesman Donn Pearlman said Tuesday the auction will include more than 700 personal and professional items, including an eye patch Wayne wore in his Golden Globe-winning performance in “True Grit.” The auction will take place Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

GUMBY CRIME A person dressed as Gumby tells a convenience store clerk he’s being robbed in this surveillance video Tuesday. The Gumby fumbled inside the costume as if to pull a gun, dropped 27 cents and then left. Police say the attempted robbery took place Monday at a 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif.

AP photo courtesy of the San Diego Police Department

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