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Charity benefits from Begum Aga Khan Jewels - 2000-11-16

Jewels belonging to the late Begum Aga Khan, wife of one of the world's richest men, have been auctioned off for more than $4.5 million with proceeds going to help fight poverty and illiteracy.

Officials from Sotheby's in Geneva said Wednesday's sale included a white diamond ring weighing 51.85 carats, a 1960s French diamond necklace and diamond pendant earclips.

Born Yvettre Blanche Labrousse in 1906, the former Miss France was the fourth and last wife of the late Aga Khan the Third, one of the world's richest men. He was the grandfather of the present Aga Khan, head of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

The Begum, as she was called, died last July at age 94. She left her estate, including most of her jewels to be sold for the benefit of the Aga Khan Foundation, which funds projects in India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kenya and other countries.