A Bold Bulgari Collection Pays Tribute to Gems, Women, and Artistry
“I don’t just look at stones. I need to touch them, and feel the life inside them,” says Lucia Silvestri, who sources gems for the high-jewelry house Bulgari and serves as its creative director. “There’s sensuality in the energy of gems born in the depths of the earth.” Such vitality shines through Magnifica, a 122-piece collection made from luscious, primarily cabochon-cut stones, forming some of the most exquisite pieces designed by the Roman jeweler to date. (Some 200 other items will be added to the collection later this year.)
Unveiled last week in Milan, the line is designed as a tribute to rare gems, the artisans who make the brand’s opulent baubles, and the women who inspire them. Standouts include the Hypnotic Emerald choker, featuring Bulgari’s signature diamond-encrusted serpent nibbling at a 93-carat Colombian emerald; the platinum Metamorphosis necklace, which can be worn in nine different ways and is distinguished by an antique 12-carat cushion-cut Mozambique ruby; and the Mediterranean Queen, a collar inspired by a Bulgari necklace from the ’60s and made from white gold with diamonds, emeralds, and Paraiba tourmalines that weigh in at nearly 500 carats. While imposing in size, each piece is supple, tactile, and surprisingly lightweight.
Magnifica’s vibrant hues and sculptural forms nod to the distinct aesthetic that Bulgari has refined over its 137-year history, particularly in the 1970s, when it opened its first overseas boutique in New York’s Pierre Hotel and its jewelry’s bold tones, generous proportions, geometric shapes, and daring combinations of precious and semiprecious stones set the business apart. Bulgari’s meticulous dedication to its craft especially served a purpose last year, when, with traveling curtailed, Silvestri spent more time than usual in the company’s Italian workshops and guided artisans in creating its latest expertly made pieces. “It is our response to these times,” Silvestri says, “a message of joy and artistic perfection, a magnificent renaissance.”