1. Elizabeth Taylor
This actress’s private collection was one of the world’s most important, thanks to generous gifts from her on-off husband Richard Burton. “I feel as though I’m only the custodian of my jewellery,” she remarked in her book Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry. “When I die and they go off to auction, I hope whoever buys them gives them a really good home.”
After Taylor’s death in 2011, her collection went to auction through Christie’s, amassing US$144 million, making it the most valuable sale of jewellery in history. Bravo.