Antique & Estate Jewelry / Blogs: All That Glitters

A Closer Look at Hancocks’ Bulgari Monete Necklace


London-based jeweler Hancocks is ending the year by looking to the past with its final Jewel of the Month for 2023: an iconic Bulgari Monete necklace. A testament to Bulgari’s timeless elegance, this design is part of the revered Monete collection that debuted in the mid-1960s. Crafted under the discerning eye of Nicola Bulgari, a connoisseur of coins who was captivated by portraits of Roman emperors, the collection seamlessly weaves historical allure with minimalist sophistication.

“The concept of setting coins into jewelry goes as far back as the Roman Empire, but it had a resurgence in popularity in the late 19th century,” said Hancocks’ managing director Guy Burton in a statement. “Ancient coins can add as much intrigue to jewelry as sparkling gemstones.”

Featuring three antique Roman bronze coins set in 18k yellow gold mountings, the necklace channels the glamour of the era (circa 1980s) in which it was crafted. The coins are connected by a classic curb link chain, with meticulous care taken to preserve the numismatic value—each coin is secured between two bezels, ensuring their pristine condition.


Bulgari Monete detail
Bulgari Monete necklace in 18k yellow gold with ancient Roman bronze coins, approximately $107,000 (£85,000)

“Bulgari has great respect for the historic value and heritage of the ancient coins used in these jewels, referring to them as ‘gemme nummarie’ (coin gems), and any irregularities or signs of wear were preserved,” said Burton. “Even more, these coins tell a story with engravings incorporated throughout the design, a touch that ensures their importance and rich history are forever preserved.”

The Monete collection has maintained its reputation, to this day a red-carpet favorite among Hollywood stars (Anne Hathaway wore a Monete choker and bracelet to the Met Gala this year). “There is serious demand for vintage Bulgari Monete necklaces from collectors all around the world given they are not only remarkable pieces of jewelry, they are also jeweled historical artifacts,” said Burton. “We are delighted to present this fine example for sale as a result.”

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By: Annie Davidson Watson

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