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Celebrity stones shine even brighter

• Elizabeth Taylor: The actress received a 69.42-carat diamond as a gift from her husband, Richard Burton. Dubbed the Taylor-Burton diamond, the bodacious pear-shaped stone proved to be too much for even the flamboyant Taylor. It was sold at an auction for more than $1 million, after which it was renamed the Cartier diamond.

• Evalyn Walsh McLean: The Washington, D.C., socialite was the last private owner of the 45.52-carat Hope diamond. Discovered in the early 1600s, the violet-hued stone that once belonged to Louis XIV is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

• Grace Kelly: Prince Rainier of Monaco gave the future princess a 12-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring that she wore in the 1956 movie 'High Society.' In a close-up, her co-star Bing Crosby ad-libbed to Kelly, 'Some stone did you mine it yourself?'

• Catherine Zeta-Jones: The Welsh actress received a 10-carat, marquis-cut engagement ring from her now-husband, Michael Douglas, in 2000. One reporter described the marquis-cut stones as being 'roughly the size and shape of a peanut M&M.'

• Jennifer Lopez: The Latina singer and actress's engagement ring from actor Ben Affleck has a 6.1-carat pink diamond. The radiant-cut stone is set in pink gold and flanked by two trapezoid-shaped white diamonds. Not surprisingly, the demand for big pinks has skyrocketed. 'Since Jennifer Lopez got that ring, it's been 'pink, pink, pink,' ' says jeweler Tim Greve.

• Jacqueline Kennedy: The future first lady wore a 2-carat diamond and emerald engagement ring at what was dubbed 'the wedding of the year' in 1953. JFK made up for the relatively demure size of the stone with a gift of a pearl and diamond bracelet.

Jill Spitznass