What makes a diamond famous? It might be the diamond itself or the story behind it. Today we kick off part one of our Famous Diamonds series, which will reveal the stories and secrets behind some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds. First in the series is the 33.19-carat Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, originally known as the Krupp diamond.

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, c.1968 © Christie’s Images/ Bridgeman Art Library

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, c.1968 © Christie’s Images/ Bridgeman Art Library

This cut cornered rectangular step cut may also be referred to as an Asscher cut. The famous gem, which GIA graded as D-color, VS1 clarity (potentially internally flawless), was a surprise gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor in 1968, and instantly became the most iconic piece of jewelry in her diamond collection.

The diamond is set in a platinum ring, flanked by two tapered baguette-cut diamonds, which she wore nearly every day. As one of the most anticipated pieces of the 2011 Christie’s auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, the diamond sold for an astonishing $8.8 million – far exceeding the $2.5-$3.5 million estimate.