British author Barbara Taylor Bradford is auctioning off millions of dollars worth of her jewellery to provide an income for two distant relatives.

The A Woman Of Substance writer, who has no children, is selling a collection of 40 items, most of which were gifts from her husband Bob, and is expected to raise close to $2.3 million (£1.5 million).

Among the items is a 14-carat diamond ring valued at $750,000 (£500,000) and a pair of Harry Winston diamond and pearl earrings valued at $112,500 (£75,000).

Taylor Bradford considered giving the collection to her two relatives, but decided they would be better served with the income from the auction "as they don't lead the same lifestyle as me".

She adds, "Bob and I decided it might be nice to auction it and the money would be a little nest egg for them. Let somebody else enjoy those beautiful things. It's a wrench, but at the same time I've enjoyed those pieces."

The author, who has sold 88 million books worldwide, said much of the collection had been languishing unworn in a drawer in her New York home, but declined to reveal which family members would be sharing the proceeds of the auction.

The items will be sold off at Bonhams in London in December (13).