KUSA - Sixties screen icon and sex symbol Gina Lollobrigida is auctioning her prize jewels. One of the highlights of the auction is a pair of earrings which are estimated to fetch $1,000,000 dollars when they go under the hammer in May.
Lollobrigida was one of the 1950s and 60s most iconic film stars.
Famous for her work with Rome's Cinecitta studio, she became just as well-known for her fabulous lifestyle and expensive taste in jewelry. Starring alongside screen legends like Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Yul Brynner and Frank Sinatra, throughout the 1960s she was an elite member of the Hollywood jetset.
Now the jewelry she wore at the premieres - like at The Taming of the Shrew in London - is going under the hammer at Sotheby's where it's expected to fetch millions of dollars. Her incredible collection includes many standout items, but one stands above the rest.
"The most important of the pieces that we're exposing in London are these two natural pearl drops," according to David Bennett, jewelery chairman at Sotheby's. "Gina told us that when she bought them about 50 years ago she was told they were originally in the collection of the Hapsburg family, so they're obviously very old pearls."
"And certainly at the time, in the 19th Century, pearls of this size would have been of phenomenal value and could only have been owned by a princely or royal family, so it's quite intriguing to know the history of these stones," Bennett explained. "We're estimating $600,000 to a million dollars for them, but they may well exceed that."
The jewelery collection represented a period of the actress' life in the 1950's and 60's, but she is now a philanthropist.
Lollobrigida wants part of the proceeds from the auction to go towards funding an international hospital for stem cell research.
The auction takes place at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland on May 14, 2013.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)