Famous for her blonde bombshell looks and infamous for her contentious divorce from Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger didn't hesitate to unload her 3.7 carat Tiffany & Co. diamond engagement ring after filing for divorce following seven years of wedded non-bliss. The sale brought in nearly $60,000, and benefited the Performing Animal Welfare Society--that's a lot of dog chow!
Ice cold, to be exact. Following her acrimonious divorce from legendary financier Ron Perleman, actress Ellen Barkin didn't just part with her engagement ring. Instead, she very publicly auctioned off her entire jewelry collection--120 pieces to be exact--at Christie's, including dazzlers from Bvlgari and Cartier. Officially titled "Magnificent Jewels from the Collection of Ellen Barkin," the auction features a stunning selection of estate and contemporary pieces. Barkin walked away with her head held high, and $20 million burning a hole in her pocket.
Elizabeth Taylor's extraordinary estate brought in a record-setting $116 million when it was auctioned off at Christie's in 2011. Featuring 80 gems--each more impressive than the next--the collection included gifts from two-time ex-husband Richard Burton and pop prince Michael Jackson. Gifted to Taylor by Burton in 1969, "La Peregrina," a Cartier-designed necklace, topped sales at whopping $11.8 million--nearly $9 million in excess of its pre-auction estimate. Kim Kardashian went home with her own piece of haute history; the reality star paid $64,900 for three Lorraine Schwartz jade and diamond bracelets originally estimated at just $8,000. While such displays of excess may be causes célèbres among the more moderately inclined, no one can fault a good celebrity cause--in this case, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.