Actress’ diamond ring draws nearly $3 million at auction

FILE - This is a Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo of the Royal Oak Chronograph Leo Messi No. 10 by Audemas Piguet, is pictured with the jersey of the national soccer team of Argentina during an auction preview at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland. Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s Audemars Piguet No. 10 Royal Oak Chronograph wristwatch, was sold for $81,850 to raise money for the four-time FIFA player of the year’s foundation. (AP Photo/Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott, File)


Sotheby’s auctioned off jewels belonging to actress Gina Lollobrigida this week, fetching just under $3 million for a fancy yellow diamond once owned by a shah of Persia.

The auction house said the diamond was a highlight in a collection of 23 jewels that the 85-year-old actress, who starred opposite Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra and other top actors in the 1950s and 1960s, was selling partly to fund an international hospital for stem cell treatment.

The 74.53-carat diamond once belonged to Ahmad Shah Qajar, the shah of Persia from 1909 to 1925 and the last ruler of the Qajar dynasty.

Sotheby’s said eight bidders fought for Lollobrigida’s pearl earrings, setting a new auction record for such an item.