The tradition of mounting ancient coins dates to the third century in Rome. Coinage was viewed as a reflection of the current ruler’s regime, and a form of public art. The carved portraits were an opportunity to remind subjects of their ruler’s stature, and special attention was paid to ensure they were exquisitely carved and masterfully struck. The Romans would wear gold coins mounted in pendants as a sign of luxury status and pride.
Nicola Bulgari’s passion and knowledge bloomed first when his father took him to learn about coins from the Roman Republic at age 11. The infatuation continued to influence him throughout his career, and the Monete collection was a natural manifestation. To maintain the historical and educational characteristics of the coins, Nicola would often engrave three facts on the reverse of the settings. Examples could include the politician, the location, the type of coin, and the dates it was issued.
The incredible collection of ‘Monete’ jewels that grace these pages are some of the best designs the firm created. Whilst collectors might be most familiar with ancient coins being featured in necklaces, it is more rare to find examples mounted in rings, earrings, and gem-set brooches, like the ones on offer this fall. These coins, encased in gold, highlighted by diamonds and suspended by ‘Gourmette’ chains or Tubogas bands, make a dynamic and truly fabulous statement.
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