Bulgari’s Stars and Stripes, or “star spangled banner” collection, was created in 1972, the same year the brand’s first New York boutique opened. Additional pieces were created throughout the 70s and int0 the early 80s, commemorating the United States Bicentennial and 200th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It has become one of the house’s most hunted collections, a jewelry Holy Grail.

The collection featured coral, lapis enamel, and diamonds to create its signature American Flag motif. The exception to that scheme is a ring created for former First Lady Nancy Reagan and worn at the centenary celebration of the Statue of Liberty. The octagonal ring was set in platinum and gold, with the flag design created in rubies, sapphires and diamonds; it sold at Sotheby’s in 2016 for $319,000.

Bulgari itself is often on the quest for the pieces. The last time I held a Stars and Stripes necklace up close—and tried it on, for a long enough time that the guards were visibly uncomfortable—was in the private room upstairs at their legendary Via Condotti store. Lucia Boscaini is Bulgari’s Heritage Curator, and it is her mission (sometimes, she says, it’s more “mission impossible”) to locate pieces that represent significant moments in the Bulgari timeline.

Read more about Bulgari’s Stars and Stripes collection on the Town & Country website HERE (https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/jewelry-and-watches/a28263621/bulgari-stars-and-stripes-collection/)

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