Roskin Gem News Report

Nature’s Majesty Meets Bvlgari’s Savoir Faire

A remarkable creation from the Bvlgari High Jewelry Collection

Jewels & Jadeite Auction – Phillips, Hong Kong
Auction 23 May 2023 2pm HKT
Viewing 18 March – 23 March
Saturday-Wednesday 10:00am-7:00pm
Thursday 10:00am-12:00pm

118 carat Sri Lankan Sapphire, no heat, Bvlgari necklace.

Coming to the auction market for the first time from a private collection, this magnificent necklace from Bvlgari was realized in 2004 after the house came into possession of an exceptional and rare blue sapphire from Sri Lanka.

Lucia Silvestri, Jewelry Creative and Gems Buying Executive Director at Bvlgari, could still recall this sapphire, which she first held in her hands more than 20 years ago.

“I was so impressed and touched that I still remember the emotion I felt.”
—Lucia Silvestri

IMAGE courtesy of BVLGARI – Lucia Silvestri

Known as the woman who buys the most extraordinary gemstones in the world, Lucia Silvestri proudly enjoys the privilege of taking part in every single step behind the creation of a High Jewelry masterpiece, bearing witness daily to how the magic happens.

The House of Bvlgari

“Founded in Rome in 1884 by the talented Greek silversmith Sotirio Bvlgari, the brand quickly established a reputation for Italian excellence with exquisite craftsmanship and magnificent jewellery creations.”

Silvestri further commented that Sri Lankan sapphires possess “the transparency and luminosity” of “gems (that) are infused with light and joy,” making them perfect for Bvlgari High Jewelry creations.

Gűbelin 98 Points

Bvlgari High Jewelry Collection only accepts gemstones of near perfection, like this Sri Lankan sapphire which scored an impossible 98 points in Gübelin Gemstone Rating. This rating carefully assesses the quality, rarity, and salience of a specific gemstone. This very sapphire was awarded 98 out of 100 Gübelin Points, which places it on the highest ‘Exceptional’ grade.

IMAGE: REPORTS Gübelin and SSEF Gem Laboratories. Courtesy of PHILLIPS

Pedigree and Size

Weighing 118.35 carats, it is one of the largest sapphires ever offered at international auctions in the past three decades. Moreover, it received the ‘Royal Blue’ color grading by Gübelin Gem Lab, promising an even saturation rarely seen in blue sapphire of this size.

Sri Lankan Sapphires

Sri Lanka, previously known as Ceylon, remains one of the most important and historical sources for fine gemstones with one of the earth’s largest concentrations of gem deposits, encompassing more than 40 gem-species. Blue sapphires account for 85% of the gemstones mined on the island. Sri Lanka’s gem mining history is nearly 2,500 years old, marking it as one of the earliest sources of sapphires in the world. The island produced beautiful blue jewels that were traded among the Greeks, Romans, and Persians, and by the 5th century an active international trade of these gems was established.

Without doubt, this sapphire’s rich and homogenous color is the first thing that draws one’s eyes towards it, yet upon closer inspection, its high transparency easily inspires awed admiration from the most seasoned connoisseurs. Swiss gemmological laboratory SSEF issued an appendix letter for this sapphire, stating that it “exhibits a highly impressive size and weight, combined with an attractive blue color and purity.” With recognition from two of the world’s most reputable gemmological laboratories, it is definitively a collector’s gem.

A Gem Indeed

“Yes, it is an exceptional stone in terms of size, quality of cut, clarity, and beautifully saturated colour,” explains Dr. Michael Krzemnicki, director of the SSEF.

IMAGE: Gondwana

Age and its Country of Origin

Although the 118-carat sapphire contains small zircon crystals, they add to the individuality of this stone, also supporting its Sri Lankan origin. “These zircon inclusions revealed an age of approx. 540 million years,” noted Krzemnicki. “This calculated age is well in agreement with the age of sapphire formation in metamorphic rocks found in Sri Lanka (at that time part of the supercontinent Gondwana), and as such this age further supports our opinion of the origin of this sapphire.”

For more on this fascinating dating procedure, go to:

For more on this magnificent necklace, visit Phillips Auction House, Hong Kong, Tap here.

For those interested in viewing the necklace:

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