Antique & Estate Jewelry / Industry / Sales

Bulgari Necklace with a Rare 118 Ct. Sapphire Heads to Phillips Auction


During Phillips’ upcoming Jewels & Jadeite Sale in Hong Kong on May 23, the auction house will offer an exceptional Bulgari necklace, marking the very first time the piece comes to market from a private collection. The necklace itself features an incredibly rare, 118.35 ct. unheated cushion-shaped sapphire, “Royal Blue,” from Sri Lanka that’s expected to fetch between $3.2 million and $4.5 million.

Bulgari Phillips
Bulgari necklace (circa 2004) in platinum and white gold with a 118.35 ct. unheated Sri Lankan sapphire and diamonds, estimate $3,200,000–$4,500,000; Phillips

Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari’s jewelry creative and gems buying executive director, who held the stone over 20 years ago (before it was realized in 2004), described how “I was so impressed and touched that I still remember the emotion I felt.” She also explained how Sri Lankan sapphires like this one have “the transparency and luminosity” of “gems [that] are infused with light and joy,” making it the perfect gem for a Bulgari piece.

The worldwide head of jewelry at Phillips, Benoît Repellin, also said in a statement: “This one-of-a-kind necklace’s clean and sleek lines, elegant geometry, and the unusual horizontal setting of the 118.35-carat Sri Lankan sapphire are all elements that afford it a timeless modern appeal. Unique in its size, color and origin, the stone embodies the transparency and luminosity pursued by Bulgari for its High Jewellery creations. This jewel is a holy grail for any collector, with a classic and elegant design typical of Bulgari that emphasizes the beauty and extraordinariness of the gem.”

After its unveiling on March 18, the piece is on view now at Phillips’ new Asia headquarters in Hong Kong until it heads to auction. Following, it will embark on an international tour to New York, Singapore, Taipei, and Geneva.

At top: Bulgari’s necklace with a 118.35 ct. sapphire and diamonds heading to Phillips’ May 23 Jewels & Jadeite Sale in Hong Kong. (Photos courtesy of Phillips)

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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