Even among longtime jewelry connoisseurs, there is a common yet rarely asked question about this brand: How exactly is the name pronounced?
Although it is stylized with the second letter appearing as a V, it is simply pronounced Bulgari—the last name of the family that created the company. The V is an homage to the family’s Greek origins. Konstantinos Voulgaris was the family’s first silversmith, and he was a traveling craftsman who would sell his pieces as he moved through the islands.
As idyllic and appealing as that may sound, romanticism and good business practices don’t always mix, unfortunately. When his grandson decided to move to Rome to establish roots for the business in Italy, therefore, it was a far more momentous and significant occasion in the history of the jewelry industry than anyone at the time could possibly have anticipated.
Upon moving to Italy, Sotirios, the grandson, adopted the Latin version of the family name, hence the creation of BVLGARI. Like so many of the most prominent names in the jewelry industry, BVLGARI has flourished because it has stayed within the family, allowing them to pass on knowledge and secrets and to maintain a particular and very distinctive style.
BVLGARI was owned by members of the family until 2011, when it was acquired by French luxury empire Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The chair, vice-chair, and CEO of the company are all still direct descendants of Konstantinos Voulgaris.
Their jewelry is immediately identifiable for the way that it incorporates classic and even ancient elements into pieces that never feel staid, conservative, or out of style. Only BVLGARI is uniquely equipped to make pieces that appeal to contemporary sensibilities while hearkening back to such ancient wonders as the Colosseum or the gems of the Italian Renaissance.