One pair of earrings was strikingly similar to the chandelier diamond set Madonna wore to her hit Super Bowl half-time performance in February.
Alas, they weren’t the same pair. But Bulgari’s recent private showing of some of its contemporary high jewelry pieces had more than enough to delight its select guests at the presidential suite of the Peninsula Manila—even without the celebrity connection.
A set of necklace and bracelet, for one, featured centuries-old silver coins.
A chandelier pair of earrings, pointed out Mario Katigbak, head of Bulgari Philippines, was similar to the ones worn by best-actress nominee Glenn Close to the Oscars this year. Set in white gold was close to 12 carats of round brilliant-cut and pavé diamonds.
For the Madonna earrings lookalike, there were 13.3 carats round brilliant-cut and 3.4 carats baguette diamonds as well as 3.74 carats diamond pavé.
Bulgari occasionally holds private exhibitions of such kind for select friends and clients. This time, 30 or so guests were treated to a mini concert by piano maestro Raul Sunico, who played George Canseco ballads, as well as Broadway ditties such as “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady.”
The private showing included new interpretations of the award-winning Serpenti watch collection, including a pink-gold style with diamonds, sapphires, amethysts and lapis lazuli. Another was a seven-coil 18-karat pink-gold Tubogas style with rubellite cabochon—a bezel set with 38 diamonds surrounding a dial paved with 190 diamonds.
The exhibition was dominated by pieces from BCI, or Bulgari Collection International, the luxury jeweler’s one-off contemporary pieces, including a few precious timepieces set with diamonds.
Though Katigbak demurred to drop figures, he said the priciest in the exhibit was the Monete collection, a pink-gold necklace and bracelet set that featured mother-of-pearls and, most importantly, silver coins—12 for the necklace and eight on the bracelet—from 250-150 B.C. (Bulgari will showcase the New Monete collection in another cocktail event next week.)
By the end of the cocktails, a pair of chandelier earrings and the Monete bracelet have conspicuously left their display cases, proof that the evening had been a success.