The Tiffany Diamond
The Tiffany Diamond is one of the world’s largest and finest yellow diamonds. Discovered in the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa in 1877, the 287.42-carat rough stone was acquired the following year by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for $18,000 and solidified Mr. Tiffany’s reputation as the “King of Diamonds.”
The rough stone was brought to Paris, where Tiffany’s chief gemologist, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, supervised the cutting of the diamond into a cushion-shape brilliant weighing 128.54 carats with an unprecedented 82 facets—24 more facets than the traditional 58-facet brilliant cut. The stone is just over an inch wide and seven-eighths of an inch from top to bottom. Cut to enhance its radiant color rather than size, the diamond sparkles as if lit by an inner flame.
Around the World
The Tiffany Diamond was the highlight of Tiffany’s award-winning exhibits at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the 1939–40 World’s Fair in New York City, among many others. Later appearances included the 2006 “Bejewelled by Tiffany” exhibition at Somerset House in London, and an exhibition celebrating the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
In the Spotlight
The diamond has been set on four occasions, two of which involved original designs by Jean Schlumberger, Tiffany’s renowned jewelry designer. In 1961, the Tiffany Diamond was set in Schlumberger’s Ribbon Rosette necklace and worn by Audrey Hepburn® in publicity photographs for the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. It was also mounted in Schlumberger’s Bird on a Rock setting for the designer’s 1995 retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Audrey Hepburn®—Trademark and Likeness property of Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti—All Rights Reserved.
Take Me to Fifth Avenue
In one of its rare appearances in Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue windows, the diamond was placed in the hands of a gold wire angel for a holiday display by famed Tiffany window designer Gene Moore. The Tiffany Diamond has traveled the world as a centerpiece of numerous exhibitions, but always returns to its home at the Tiffany flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, where it is on public display.