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Italian jewellery company Bulgari will open its flagship Brisbane store tomorrow. This is tremendously exciting news for lovers of fine jewellery and Italian heritage. The kind of Italian heritage that can be measured in carats, that is. The Bulgari store joins the ground floor of Queens Plaza, keeping company with stores like Chanel, Tiffany & Co. and the recently opened Paspaley Pearls. Media and special guests have been invited for the opening of the store on Wednesday, 10th December. So why will this diamond stand out amongst the rest of the high-end jewellers? Firstly, the brand is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, and the opening of the Brisbane store is tied in with the worldwide celebrations.

The opening concludes a calendar of festivities, which have included celebrity endorsed events (Sydney saw Eric Bana and Rachel Hunter turn out for the event), a ‘130 Years of Masterpieces’ exhibition  on show in Houston, a special commemorative jewellery collection and an evocative film by Academy Award winning writer and director Paulo Sorrentino. The rich history of the Bulgari brand, and indeed Rome itself, has informed design elements within the Brisbane store. An Italian-designed Murano crystal chandelier hangs above the 90 square metre shop, intended to throw an atmospheric light over the jewellery and her admirers.

The walls are lined with silk panels, and the floor inlaid with the classic brown Veneziana, typical of historic buildings in Rome. If you feel as though you’ve stepped into an Italian palazzo as you cross the threshold of the store, then the designers have done their job. While you may just ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ your way around the displays, taking in the creations dripping with coloured tourmalines, diamonds and emeralds, shimmering you into submission, the Bulgari experience also offers jewellery viewings in total privacy, allowing an element of discretion in the amidst the show.

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Words by Alice Thompson