One of Dame Elizabeth Taylor's diamonds was once owned by the ex-wife of a Nazi war criminal.
Richard Burton - who married and divorced the actress twice - bought the Asschercut stone for $305,000 in 1968, and it's now been revealed that the diamond was nicknamed the Krupp as it was once owned by Vera Krupp, the former wife of Nazi war criminal Alfred Krupp.
In extracts from Kate Andersen Brower's book 'Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit and Glamour of an Icon', which is being serialised in The Times newspaper, Ward Landrigan – the head of Sotheby's jewellery department – says: "After an auction I always took my staff over to the bar next door from our New York office, and we were sitting there having a drink and it came on the radio that Elizabeth Taylor had bought the diamond. I said, 'Oh man, that's so cool!'
"About 20 minutes later someone came over from the office and said, 'Elizabeth wants the diamond now.' I said, 'Where is she?' They said, 'She's in London. Her people have booked you on a flight. Go.'"
Elizabeth also pointed out the irony of her owning a former Nazi's diamond, after she converted to Judaism in 1959.
She joked: "When it came up for auction in the late 1960s, I thought how perfect it would be if a nice Jewish girl like me were to own it."
Despite the diamond's price and history, it did not impress the late Princess Margaret when she and Elizabeth met at a party in London.
Margaret said: "My dear, that ring is positively vulgar."
However, Taylor – who died in 2011, aged 79 – had the last laugh when the royal had a change of heart and wanted to try it on.
The Hollywood icon replied: "Of course. Not quite so vulgar now, is it?"