I’m always nervous handling fine jewelry. It’s a world of white gloves, special care instructions, and security guards. Imagine my surprise when I meet Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari’s Creative Director, at the house’s Place Vendôme location for the unveiling of Bulgari’s latest fine jewelry collection in Paris and she’s handing me one-of-a-kind necklaces as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. “All of these stones are gifts from nature,” Silvestri emphasizes.
Everything starts with the gems when she designs. This season, the emerald has caught her eye, and 30 of the 140 pieces in the Eden: The Garden of Wonders collection feature the stone. The Tribute to Paris necklace, recently worn by Julianne Moore in Cannes and modeled in Paris by Carla Bruni, features a mix of emeralds and diamonds set to resemble petite Eiffel Towers. This is one of the reasons Bulgari, a Roman house, decided to bring this collection to the City of Light for a presentation at the Italian Embassy.
Silvestri models another necklace, the Emerald Venus, and encourages me to not only try it on but to also turn it upside down to see the craftsmanship, lightness, and flexibility. The piece resembles an Italian fern called the Capelvenere, she explains, in another reference to nature. There is an undeniable ease to these initially intimidating pieces that makes them feel wearable, nearly accessible. Even the pièce de résistance of the collection— the Emerald Glory necklace—is shown as a piece to be worn four ways: as a diamond necklace and emerald necklace layered together, as two separate necklaces, or as a tiara, making it an even more worthy investment. (It’s also being sold with a digital twin NFT.) “Don’t be shy” is the advice Nicola Bulgari, Bulgari’s former Vice President, gave Silvestri. These precious jewels are making statements that are anything but.