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City Beat: Elizabeth Taylor jewels on display on Rodeo Drive

February 19, 2013 |  5:40 pm

Elizabeth Taylor

It isn't easy sometimes to be an ordinary person in Los Angeles -- so near to and yet so far from the city's glamorous big events.

You hear about the grand Oscar parties but you'll never be invited. The award ceremony may be happening walking distance from where you live, but you watch it at home, on TV, in your sweatpants -- just as you might do if you were in Dubuque.


Rodeo Drive's most chic boutiques can make you feel like an outsider too. As you stroll the gleaming sidewalks of downtown Beverly Hills, you stare in the windows at baubles and trinkets that you could never in three lifetimes afford.

Which is why it feels rather nice to be encouraged to make a private appointment at Bulgari -- the fine Italian jeweler in business since 1884. 

Starting Wednesday, Bulgari will welcome the public to a small exhibit on its boutique's second floor featuring eight signature pieces of jewelry once owned by Elizabeth Taylor.

Bulgari reacquired them after Taylor's death -- in particular, spending many millions at a 2011 Christie's auction. 

Among the pieces are emeralds and diamonds galore, in the engagement ring Richard Burton gave to Taylor and a brooch and necklace he gave her to celebrate their engagement and marriage, respectively. The brooch and the necklace each went for more than $6 million at Christie's.

There are no visible price tags at Bulgari. And Taylor's jewels are not for sale. But Bulgari expects many people to want to see them while they're on display, through March 10. 

It may be possible to walk in off the street, but making an appointment is best, the staff says. The phone number for Bulgari in Beverly Hills is (310) 858-9216.

Look for my next City Beat on Elizabeth Taylor's jewels.

Keep reading here to see the story, in photos and videos, I sent out on Twitter from the scene:



 -- Nita Lelyveld

Follow City Beat on Twitter at @latimescitybeat and on Facebook. Send ideas for City Beat dispatches to nita.lelyveld@latimes.com.