BVLGARI AND THE FARNESE BLUE DIAMOND
Bvlgari is proud to add a new chapter to its glittering diamond saga. The Brand will present the new life of an extraordinary historical stone – the Farnese Blue Diamond – and feature it as the special “guest star” of its 2019 Cinemagia High Jewelry collection.
A masterful and very subtle recut has unlocked the potential of this 300-year-old diamond. The original amazing stone has been turned into a unique miracle of nature and workmanship to be set on a contemporary Bvlgari creation.
THE FARNESE BLUE DIAMOND: 300 YEARS OF HISTORY
As its name indicates, the Farnese Blue has been linked to Italy for more than 300 years. The Farnese family is first mentioned in historical records as ruling the ancient city of Orvieto in 980, but their unforgettable saga really begins to intensify at the end of the 15th century when Alessandro Farnese (1468-1549) became pope under the name of Paul III.
Alessandro’s palace (now the French embassy) and his Villa Farnesina, both in Rome, are testimonies to his patronage of the arts. His son, Piero-Luigi, would become the first duke of Parma and the founder of a dynasty. In 1714, the last Farnese princess, Elisabetta, brought additional glory to the history of the family when she married King Philippe V and became Queen of Spain.
Due to a long war of succession, Spanish finances were in a very bad state at the time. In order to provide a suitable dowry for the new queen, all the Spanish colonies were requested to send wedding presents. A fleet of 12 ships sailed at the beginning of 1715 from Cuba, carrying gifts of gold, pearls, diamonds and enormous emeralds.
Unfortunately, the fleet encountered a hurricane in the Gulf of Florida and eleven of the ships were destroyed. Only one reached Sevilla, carrying the magnificent wedding present of the governor of the Philippines Islands: a blue diamond of 6.16 carats.
Elisabetta’s union with King Philippe V of Spain was a very happy one and they had numerous children. However, it seems Queen Elisabetta had a special fondness for her second son, Philippe. In 1748, she managed to obtain for him the dukedoms of Parma and Piacenza, the estates of her Farnese ancestors whose male line was extinct. Philippe sailed for Italy and it is presumably around that time that his mother gave him the blue diamond.
For more than 250 years, the Farnese Blue Diamond was kept as part of the treasure of the Bourbon-Parma family. It was used in two settings: as a jewel on a tie pin and as an ornament on a wide diamond tiara. In 2018, the Farnese Blue Diamond was sold in Geneva by descendants of the Bourbon-Parma family for 6.7 million dollars.