Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels
Sotheby’s latest event in Geneva showcased a plethora of stunning jewels, but one particular gem stood out among the rest, the Bulgari Laguna Blu.
During the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels event, the Bulgari Laguna Blu fetched an astonishing $25 million following a fierce four-minute bidding war between three phone bidders and one in-person buyer. This 11.6-carat fancy-vivid blue diamond was recently worn by Priyanka Chopra Jonas at the Met Gala.
A gem of this rare rarity contributed greatly to the outstanding sales performance of Sotheby’s Swiss branch in the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels categories over the past five years. Sales generated by the event totalled $85 million.
Blue Diamonds, Legend and Fascination
Coloured diamonds have always held a fascination with the beholder and throughout time people have been transfixed by their beauty. The ‘Hope Diamond’ a 45-carat blue diamond has boasted of countless patrons such as King Louis XIV, Evalyn Walsh McLean and Harry Winston, all of whom were drawn to its innate beauty. Voted as the favourite colour of both men and women worldwide, blue has been “frequently associated by literary texts with the idea of joy, love, loyalty, peace and comfort” as says colour historian Michel Pastoureau (in Blue: The History of a Colour, 3 April 2002, Princeton University Press).
The formation of a blue diamond takes place far beneath the depth of the earth’s mantle. The rare occurrence which determines whether a diamond shows any colour is due to a disturbance in the crystal lattice. Diamonds are composed of pure carbon and if there are trace elements of boron present in this lattice then the diamond can show varying shades of blue. Colour is the most important quality for a fancy coloured diamond, and it is only when there is enough boron in the stone that the diamond exhibits a strong enough colour which allows it to be called a ‘Vivid’.
At the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamonds are graded for the intensity of their colour and only those with the strongest saturation are determined to be ‘Vivid’ in colour. For blue diamonds this is so rare that of all the blue diamonds submitted to the GIA less than 1% of those stones are found to be ‘Vivid’ in colour. Even rarer is to find a coloured diamond which does not have a secondary colour present, as coloured diamonds may often have a tint of another colour.
As one of the world’s distinguished jewellery houses, Bulgari holds a place in history as a paragon of superb craftsmanship and style. Bulgari creations feature some of the most prestigious gemstones ever discovered and it is no wonder that Giorgio Bulgari, a connoisseur in coloured diamonds, was eager to own this stone. It was not long after its acquisition that another distinguished collector who also had an eye for diamonds of unsurpassed quality purchased this diamond as a ring from Bulgari and has remained in this collection ever since, now offered for the first time at auction.
Giorgio Bulgari (1890 – 1966), son of founder Sotirio Bulgari, was the first member of the Bulgari family to introduce coloured diamonds. His son, Gianni Bulgari (born 1935), incorporated these coloured diamonds into the firm’s design repertory by developing a highly successful collection of brooches set en tremblant around them. The tremblant brooch, a fresh and modern interpretation of the floral spray, is one of Bulgari’s most iconic creations of the late 1950s and 1960s.
‘Laguna Blu’, Diamond Ring by Bulgari
A diamond of this quality and size is a rare find and an extraordinary treasure to behold. The richness of its colour and its unique blue hue are mesmerizing. The classic unmodified pear-shape cut is also highly desired by connoisseurs today. Alongside the superior qualities of this natural treasure, what makes this 11.16 carat diamond so spectacular is the accompanying mount created by Bulgari.
The 11.16 carat blue diamond was recently worn by celebrated actress and Bulgari Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra Jonas at New York’s Met Gala, international fashion’s biggest red carpet event. It was showcased mounted on a necklace inspired by bay laurel wreaths worn by Greco-Roman Emperors – a bespoke creation by Bulgari crafted especially for the occasion.
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