After only two years together, Ben Affleck decided to make "Bennifer" official, and proposed to Lopez with a remarkable Harry Winson six-carat pink diamond ring worth a cool $1.2 million. But when Jennifer went back on the (dating) market after her split from Affleck in 2004, so did the diamond. It was "reacquired" by Harry Winston in 2005. Its new price? We'll never know: The starting bid was undisclosed and only available to "serious bidders." Just three years later, Affleck married Jennifer Garner. Apparently the actor took his past into account--he didn't spend nearly as much on Garner's engagement ring: her 4.5 carat diamond is valued at $500,000.
Elizabeth Taylor's love affair with jewelry is well documented. Her enormous collection, valued at more than $150 million, is being auctioned off in December of 2011 by Christie's. In keeping with Taylor's personal campaign for an HIV/AIDS cure, "the proceeds from the exhibition admissions, events, and publications related to the sales will be donated to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which the actress founded in 1991. But one of her most spectacular pieces, a "69.24 carat, inch thick diamond," purchased by ex-husband Richard Burton for $1.1 million, will not be included in the auction. After the couple's divorce in 1978, Taylor announced she was putting the remarkable gem up for sale and putting the proceeds toward building a hospital in Botswana. She seemed unattached to the jewel, saying only, "It was very large and very heavy...Anyway, I hadn't worn it in ages..."
Although she endured one of the most acrimonious divorces in Hollywood history, Kim Basinger did get one thing out of her marriage to Alec Baldwin: a gorgeous engagement ring. Although Basinger was reportedly reluctant to wed the "30 Rock" star, the 3.7 carat Tiffany and Co. diamond must have convinced her. The ring was on her finger for the duration of her nine year marriage, but after a bitter custody battle, Basinger must have thought it was time to let go of the past. The animal rights activist auctioned off the ring at Christie's, along with other pieces, including a multi-gem necklace given to her by Baldwin, to raise money for the Performing Animal Welfare Society. The ring brought in an impressive $59, 750.
Ellen Barkin felt felt like something of a jewel in her marriage to billionaire investment guru Ron Perleman: "I was an accessory, being accessorized, the perfect one -- age-appropriate, the mother of two children, successful in her own right." Barkin reportedly got $40 million in her divorce from her husband but managed to squeeze another $20 million out of the jewelry given to her by her ex-husband after their difficult divorce. After six years of marriage, Ellen Barkin sold more than 100 pieces at Christie's New York. The trove also contained a 32-carat apricot diamond ring given to her by Perleman just weeks before the pair filed for divorce. Barkin's rationale: the pieces were "not memories [she] wanted to wear every day." She pocketed the cash from the sale.
After the public humiliation that Swedish former model Elin Nordegren endured, she evidently wanted to get as far away from memories of her life with Tiger Woods as possible. According to the National Enquirer she asked famed auction house Sotheby's to sell $2.5 million worth of diamonds, gold, and platinum--all gifts from her womanizing ex--after finalizing her reported $100 million divorce settlement with Woods.
Celebrity Divorce: Stars Who Sold Their Jewelry Post-Split