"Did you know that, in 1960, much of Sophia Loren’s jewellery was stolen from a rose-clad cottage in Hertfordshire, England, where she had been staying while filming the romantic comedy The Millionairess? The jewels were worth US$250,000 and included three sets of diamonds, emeralds and rubies, all of which had been stored in a leather case hidden in a chest of drawers. At the time of the theft, Loren was at the airport meeting her film producer husband Carlo Ponti. For identification purposes, detectives were given photographs of Loren wearing the pieces and they also took photographs of marks found on a window, but nobody was ever charged with the robbery, although it has been largely thought that notorious thief Sidney Cugullere was responsible.
"Loren is an exemplary actor who is especially beloved by Italians; to us, she is an icon that represents the very best of our home country. When I first joined Bulgari in 2001, I quickly learned that Loren was a loyal patron and I felt so proud that we are affiliated with such a renowned star. In fact, much of Loren’s stolen jewellery had been from Bulgari. Something I find particularly moving is that Loren’s most important jewel was given to her by Ponti. He gave her a fabulous Bulgari necklace for her birthday while she was filming It Started in Naples (1960) in Capri. Extremely precious, the piece was set in gold and mounted with 48 Burmese rubies that weighed over 60 carats. In our archive, we have a beautiful picture of Loren blowing out candles on a giant cake while wearing the amazing necklace.
"Loren also owns a gorgeous fringe Bulgari suite, complete with brilliant-cut diamonds. In one photograph, while at the Cannes Film Festival, she poses on the red carpet in a graceful white lace dress, surrounded by guards while paparazzi clamber to snap pictures. I really admire Loren’s radiance and humble character. Despite being an admired superstar, she remains down-to-earth; a genuine Neapolitan. She perfectly embodies Bulgari’s approach to jewellery: our creations are magnificent, but at the same time versatile and wearable.