Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio went mano a mano in a bidding war to capture a stunning aquamarine-and-diamond necklace at the Cannes Film Festival’s charity auction to help fund AIDS research.
In the end, the 20-year-old pop star prevailed with a bid of $545,000, topping the 39-year-old movie star’s best offer of $476,000. The winning bid was more than double the pre-sale estimated price.
Bieber told The Hollywood Reporter that the necklace was for his mom, Pattie Mallette. He reportedly held an auction booklet open at a page showing the Serpenti-style necklace and said, “I love you mommy, I love you.”
The necklace by Bulgari features a 13.05 carat aquamarine center stone, surrounded by a “snake” encrusted in 19.12 carats of pavé diamonds.
Bulgari had donated the necklace to support the festival’s annual AmFAR Cinema Against AIDS event held in Antibes, a resort town in the south of France. The Serpenti line was beloved by the late Elizabeth Taylor, who was an amFAR co-founder.
The aquamarine-and-diamond necklace was modeled during the evening’s festivities by its host, the former first lady of France and amFAR ambassador Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Bieber is one of the hottest pop stars in the world and was named the ninth most powerful entertainer by Forbes. His auction challenger, DiCaprio, made women swoon with his portrayal of Jack Dawson in 1997’s Titanic, the highest grossing movie of all time.
Despite going home empty handed, DiCaprio can still consider the event a big success. His generosity (and courage) generated nearly a $1 million for the foundation. The philanthropic actor offered one lucky bidder an opportunity to join him on a voyage to an altitude of 68 miles at a speed of 2,600 mph aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo in 2015. The winning bid was $950,000.
The charity event raised $38 million.