Bulgari’s $2.9 Million Mid-Century Modern Ring

As the saying goes, “A Bulgari jewel is as recognizable as a Chanel suit.” But with its platinum setting, faceted stones, and crossover style, this ring—which earned £1,889,250 at Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale Sept. 21 in London—doesn’t exactly scream “Bulgari.” Yellow gold, chunky cabochons, semiprecious gems—that typifies the Bulgari aesthetic. Yet let’s not forget the Italian ­jeweler’s distinctive mid-century moment. In the late ’50s, Bulgari began to incorporate smooth outlines—e.g., this piece’s scrolling baguette-cut diamond shoulders—not to mention exceptional colored diamonds. “The ring was purchased in the early ’60s from Bulgari and inherited by the current owner,” says Jean Ghika, Bonhams director of jewelry. “The provenance was traceable back to the point of purchase—and it was fresh to the market.”

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