Elizabeth Taylor pearl sells for $11.84 million

Posted at 12/14/2011 10:55 AM | Updated as of 12/14/2011 10:56 AM

NEW YORK - A huge pearl once worn by kings and queens and last owned by Hollywood siren Elizabeth Taylor sold for a record $11.84 million at auction in New York on Tuesday.

"La Peregrina," depicted in art works over the centuries and coveted by crowned heads of Europe, was bought for Taylor by her husband Richard Burton in 1969.

The pearl, suspended from a Cartier necklace, had been estimated to sell by Christie's for $2-3 million but the figure shot up in fierce bidding, reaching the highest price for any pearl jewelry at auction.

Christie's was selling Taylor's legendary jewelry and fashion collections, the so-called "Crown Jewels of Hollywood."

The actress, who died in March at the age of 79, had seven husbands during her glamorous life, countless admirers and a passion for jewelry.