A diamond necklace by Bulgari featuring a cushion-shaped, 118.35-carat, royal-blue sapphire from Sri Lanka is set to realize up to $4.5 million at an upcoming Phillips sale in Hong Kong.
The necklace was created in 2004 by the Italian high-jewelry house, and it is the first time it is available at auction, Phillips said. The piece, from “an esteemed private collection,” will lead the May 23 Jewels & Jadeite sale at the new Phillips Asia headquarters in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the company added.
The sapphire is accompanied by SSEF and Gübelin gemological reports and appendix letters “expressing the rarity and exceptionality of the sapphire,” the auction house said. In addition, Gübelin awarded it the royal-blue color grade, meaning it has an even saturation not often seen in unheated blue sapphires of this size.
The necklace was featured in Bulgari’s “125 Years of Italian Magnificence” retrospective in China from 2011 to 2012.
The combination of the exceptional qualities of the sapphire, its Sri Lankan origins and the design by Bulgari make this a particularly important jewel, said Benoît Repellin, worldwide head of jewelry at Phillips.
“Unique in its size, color and origin, the stone embodies the transparency and luminosity pursued by Bulgari for its high-jewelry creations,” he explained. “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.”