Her jewelry was central to her writing, too, as it often prompted conversations at Hollywood parties and restaurants. “She used to say you wouldn’t believe how many people came up to her and told her these stories and she would write about them,” Ms. Lerman said. “And she’d change the names because she didn’t want people to know who those stories were about.”
THE PARTY PIECE Diamond, emerald, stone and platinum necklace, sale estimate $40,000-$60,000 “My mum made this diamond and emerald necklace as a statement piece for a Vanity Fair Oscar party about five or six years ago,” Ms. Lerman said. “She combined Art Deco antique brooches that my father used to buy her for her birthday from celebrity jeweler Neil Lane in the 1980s, when he had an antique jewelry stand in Antiquarius in L.A. and in the Kings Road in London.”
‘LOOK AT ME’ A gold and steel Cartier Panthère collar, sale estimate $10,000-$15,000 “My mum bought the Cartier panther collar in the 1980s after she finished writing ‘Chances’ or ‘Lucky,’” Ms. Lerman said, adding that her mother collected statues and jewelry with tigers, leopards and panthers.
“She wore it when she went with my father for dinner at Spago with all of their friends — including Wolfgang Puck, who owned Spago; Michael and Shakira Caine; Roger Moore, if he was in town, and his wife; David Niven Jr.; Tita and Sammy Cahn, the music writer; Barbara and Marvin Davis; and Joanna and Sidney Poitier — to make an entrance into the hottest place in town.”
FAVORITE MOTIFS Diamond and white gold “claw” pendant necklace, sales estimate $2,000-$3,000 and a diamond and gold “quatrefoil ankh” ring, sales estimate $1,500-$2,500 According to Ms. Lerman, claw pendants and crosses, both by Ms. Rodkin, were her mother’s favorite daytime pieces, the jewelry she wore to lunches at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel with her best friends, Mrs. Poitier and Laura Lizer, her business manager.
Ms. Rodkin, a movie talent manager turned jewelry designer, said: “We met at a dinner party at Rod Stewart’s house in the 1980s, as we were mutual friends of his then-wife, Alana, and sat next to each other.
“She liked the diamond claw necklace I was wearing so asked if she could come to my studio, which was near where she lived. Afterwards she would always come in and browse for anything sparkly.”
SCHOOL-RUN PIECES Diamond and rose gold strawberry pendant, sales estimate $1,800-$2,500 and a yellow sapphire, diamond and gold heart pendant, $2,000-$3,000 “My mum would pick us up from school wearing her heart necklaces layered with other necklaces with different kinds of motifs,” Ms. Lerman said, noting the family didn’t have drivers, multiple nannies or assistants.
“She would make us dinner when we got home,” Ms. Lerman said. “She used to make the most delicious roast chicken with roast potatoes with her famous gravy with peas and corn, and we would eat as a family. Or she would cook dinner, then go upstairs, change her jewelry and outfit, and transform into this beautiful woman going out for the evening.”
THE BIRTHDAY SPECIAL Art Deco diamond, black onyx and platinum bracelet, circa 1920, sale estimate $7,000-$9,000 Ms. Lerman said her father found this bracelet at Neil Lane and gave it to Ms. Collins for her 50th birthday in 1987.
“She wore it that evening,” Ms. Lerman said. “It was a tradition back then for the family to go to dinner on a special birthday at Trader Vic’s at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, a really fun, eclectic Polynesian restaurant. We would never have to wait for a table.”
THE BOOK INTRODUCTION RING Diamond, colored diamond, gold and platinum bypass ring, sale estimate $20,000-$30,000 “I remember her specifically wearing that yellow diamond and white diamond ring for the launch party for her ‘Poor Little Bitch Girl’ book in Beverly Hills,” Ms. Lerman said. “ She loved to introduce new books, and she had a lot of fun with that.”