The Roman jeweller has created a jewel with very British roots in the form of the Bulgari Jubilee Emerald Garden Tiara. The tiara pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and will only be available in the UK.
The tiara was unveiled at Bulgari’s flagship boutique on New Bond Street on the 5 May, just in time for the big Platinum Jubilee weekend on 2-5 June. The tiara, that can be dismounted and transformed into a necklace, is inspired by the Fife tiara that belonged to Queen Victoria and features similar drop-shape emeralds.
The Bulgari Jubilee Emerald Garden is the only the third tiara that the house has made, as historically there hasn’t a high demand for this item amongst its clientele. The tiara is set with 71 emeralds, a nod to the Italian tradition of always adding an extra candle to the birthday cake, foreboding another year of health to look forward to.
Lucia Silvestri, High Jewellery Creative Director at Bulgari says of the creative process: ‘This high jewellery creation represents an homage to celebrate the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. I was inspired by the Queen, a strong and powerful woman, an icon of our times, and by her historic admiration of emeralds to design a piece centred around this striking carved emerald, which showcases Bulgari’s mastery in craftsmanship and creativity.’
This impressive creation was brought to life by a team of five jewellers working in Bulgari’s Roman atelier lavishing over 1,500 hours on its construction. Two master jewellers focussed entirely on setting the gems by hand, as befits a masterpiece of this value. The central stone is a 63.44-carat Zambian emerald that is carved with a lotus flower. Lucia Silvestri found the stone while travelling in Jaipur, India on one of her gem-hunting expeditions just before COVID19 struck. She was immediately drawn to the stone but the final negotiations were carried out via Zoom as lock down prevented further travel.
This emerald sits in pride of place in a garden of diamonds and yet more emeralds, all set in platinum in this diadem-style tiara. Despite having such British influences at its conception, the tiara is very much in the style of Bulgari’s jewellery with an opulent richness of colour and a natural flow to the setting of each of the hundreds of gemstones. Once the platinum mount is removed, the necklace is fluid and flows easily onto the neck, thanks to hidden articulations and painstaking attention to the every finish.
The tiara was presented with a Diva’s Dream diamond watch set with eight Zambian emeralds as this verdant gem will be the theme of an upcoming high jewellery collection.
As Nicola Bulgari, direct descendant of the founder and Vice President of Bulgari said, ‘The same jewel should be worn both to a picnic and to a grand ball.’ Let’s hope that the lucky owner of this creation has the chance to wear the Emerald Garden to both occasions. And if the Queen is a reader of The Jewellery Editor, she may want to take a closer look and consider adding it to her already impressive collection of head wear.