Pieces of the Week: A Tribute to Marina B

We remember the late Marina Bulgari through her best work, from timeless tubogas to a museum-worthy emerald collar.

By Michelle GraffFrom unique gemstone cuts to this emerald and diamond collar “fit for a museum,” here are some of the best creations from the late Marina Bulgari, better known as Marina B. (Photo courtesy of Windsor Jewelers)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled “Piece of the Week” to bring you this multi-piece tribute to Marina Bulgari, the influential jewelry designer who died last month at age 93.

Marina, born in July 1930, was the granddaughter of Bulgari founder and Greek silversmith Sotirios Voulgaris (Bulgari in Italian). Her father, Constantino Bulgari, was the eldest of Sotirios’ six children.

When Sotirios died in 1932, Constantino and Marina’s uncle, Giorgio Bulgari, took over the family business. 

Jewelry—specifically Bulgari—art, and design were constants in Marina’s life while she was growing up in Rome.

She attended college in England and after graduation, returned to Italy and began contributing designs to the Bulgari studio.

Marina was a “vital asset” to the family business but decided to branch out on her own in 1976 with her own brand, Marina B.

She opened her first boutique in Geneva, Switzerland, and additional stores followed in Paris, Milan, and New York.

The brand became a celebrity staple in the ‘80s—Elizabeth Taylor wore Marina B, as did Sophia Loren—and is still popular today, a testament to Marina’s timeless touch.

Singer Alicia Keys sported a Marina B collar when she sang the national anthem at the 2013 Super Bowl, and other celebrities, including Beyoncé, Angela Bassett, Taylor Swift, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, have worn the brand in recent years.

Following Marina’s passing, I asked Windsor Jewelers CEO Paul Lubetsky, whose company retains a minority stake in Marina B, and one of the current stewards of the brand, Creative Director Guy Bedarida, to share their favorites from the Marina B archives.

Paul Lubetsky

“I was fortunate to know Ms. Bulgari when I was CEO and owner of Marina B in 2010,” Lubetsky said. 

“Her pioneering work on specialty cut gemstones and engineering innovations have left an undeniable mark on our industry, and she will be greatly missed.”