Gina Lollobrigida jewellery raises $5m at Geneva auction

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Media captionThe sale was expected to raise millions of dollars

Jewellery belonging to the veteran Italian film star Gina Lollobrigida has fetched almost $5m (£3.3m) at an auction in Geneva.

Her collection included a pair of pearl and diamond earrings that sold for $2.39m (£1.55m), Sotheby's said.

The auction house said the collection went for twice as much as the original estimate.

Lollobrigida, who rose to stardom in the 1950s and 1960s, said part of the profits would go to stem cell research.

More than 20 pieces - many created by Italian jeweller Bulgari - went under the hammer on Tuesday.

"So often women are lucky enough to be given jewellery, but when you have an actress, a famous lady, who has chosen the jewellery herself it makes it that much more interesting," said David Bennett of Sotheby's Geneva.

The 85-year-old said some of the money would go towards an international hospital for stem-cell treatment.

The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, which included jewellery from other sellers, also featured a yellow diamond reportedly once owned by a Shah of Persia that sold for just under $3m (£1.97m).

Lollobrigida, known in her native country as La Lolla, appeared in films including The World's Most Beautiful Woman (1955) and Come September (1961) but now works as a sculptor.

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