Conceived by Giorgio Bulgari in 1932, the very first Trombino Bulgari ring — set entirely with diamonds — was no less than Giorgio’s engagement ring for his future wife, Leonilde Gulienetti. But what started as an intensely personal love token quickly became one of the Roman High Jewelry’s house’s most iconic, enigmatic creations. The Trombino’s undisputed high glamour proved irresistible to the fashion cognoscenti of the 1930s, and it has remained an enduring star in Bulgari’s women’s jewelry collection to this day. In his quest to design the ultimate jewelled statement of intent, Bulgari had created the ultimate statement ring.
This stunning Bulgari sapphire ring is set with a large, old mine Natural Ceylon sapphire of rich, saturated cornflower blue. An unheated stone of 21.14 carats; it is rare to find a sapphire of this size and quality that has not been heated during production to enhance color.
Instantly recognisable and undeniably eye-catching, the Trombino dome ring’s pioneering design sees the sapphire set proud, flanked by shoulders of brilliant cut baguette diamonds, while the broad shank of the ring is set with pavé set diamonds.
Whether natural or heated, depending on their color saturation and hue, sapphires tend to fall into one of two categories: day or night. Rich and velvety day sapphires are of a much darker hue that, typically, look at their best during the natural light of day, but in lower light can lose allure and appear almost black. Conversely, night sapphires are paler and softer, so lose intensity in bright conditions but look superb at night, especially in artificial light. This exceptional Bulgari sapphire ring features a large unheated, clean and crystalline stone of vivid cornflower blue. Impressive not just for its size, the stone’s remarkable hue is highly unusual in that it translates beautifully in both day and evening light.
Signed Bvlgari and of the mid-1980s, this 18k white gold Bulgari sapphire ring wonderfully illustrates the crossover between important jewels and the very finest signed, vintage jewelry of the 20th century’s great Haute Joaillarie houses.
In the years since its inception, the Trombino ring’s universal appeal has not waned. Highly coveted, only a select few have been made. Just as Harry Winston was feted as the ‘King of Diamonds’, so Bulgari became renowned in the 20th century for supplying only the finest colored stones to its customers, reserving some of the most important stones for Trombino design rings. The ultimate in cocktail rings; aside from diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds from the Bulgari collection have all starred as the Trombino’s center stone. Indeed, one of the most famous examples of Bulgari’s colored stone rings, featuring a sugarloaf cabochon Sapphire weighing more than 25 carats, was purchased by Elizabeth Taylor in 1971.
Taylor’s Bulgari sapphire ring was a Trombino of the same design as that featured here, set also with a Ceylon sapphire of a similar carat weight. She and Richard Burton were faithful clients of Bulgari and Elizabeth Taylor’s most important colored stone jewelry was purchased from the noted High Jewelers. When Taylor’s Bulgari Trombino returned to the market in 2011, it sold at Christie’s for $866,500.
And in 2013, a Trombino diamond ring by Bulgari was auctioned by Bonhams of London. Set with an important, fancy deep-blue diamond — one of the most valuable and sought-after stones in the world — the blue diamond ring sold for a world record £6.2 million.
Nine decades on from its creation, Bulgari’s magnificent Trombino ring remains one of the Italian High Jewelry house’s most popular designs, with 18K yellow gold and diamond Trombino rings much sought after as wedding bands. No doubt, Giorgio would approve. Unmistakeably Bulgari, to this day the Trombino epitomises the very best of the Italian high jeweller’s work: dramatic; daring; audaciously romantic, and uniquely timeless in its appeal.