Only two women have ever worn The Tiffany Di­a­mond, and its il­lus­tri­ous his­tory is one of screen stars and roy­alty.

NICHE Magazne - - Inside This Issue -

In 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany, just twenty five years old, bor­rowed one thou­sand dol­lars from his father and opened a stationary and fancy goods store with part­ner, John B. Young, at 259 Broad­way in New York City. It is here that Amer­i­can style would be de­fined. De­signs that were el­e­gant and time­less, they be­gan with sil­ver­ware and quickly moved into jew­elry de­sign.

In 1886 Tiffany & Co. in­tro­duced the en­gage­ment ring as we know it to­day — the Tiffany® Set­ting —and the com­pany pros­pered like never be­fore. By the 20th cen­tury Tiffany & Co. was Amer­ica’s finest and most renowned mer­chant of jew­els, time­pieces and lux­ury house­hold ac­ces­sories. They had over one thou­sand em­ploy­ees, and shops in Lon­don, Paris, and Geneva.

With the legacy set in mo­tion, Tiffany de­sign­ers have con­tin­ued to im­press new stan­dards and rev­o­lu­tion­ize the jew­elry industry for two cen­turies. Their col­lec­tions have al­ways ef­fec­tively cap­tured the essence of the times and have been an un­de­ni­able rep­re­sen­ta­tion of glam­our and lux­ury. None more fa­mous or awe in­spir­ing than the Tiffany Di­a­mond.

One of the largest and finest fancy yel­low di­a­monds in the world, the Tiffany Di­a­mond has be­come a sym­bol of the high­est stan­dards of qual­ity and crafts­man­ship es­tab­lished with the found­ing of Tiffany & Co. over eight gen­er­a­tions ago. The 287.42-carat stone was pur­chased by Charles Lewis Tiffany for $18,000. The stone’s ac­qui­si­tion so­lid­i­fied Mr. Tiffany’s rep­u­ta­tion as the “King of Di­a­monds” and made his en­ter­prise the world’s di­a­mond author­ity.

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 BEAUTY AND RA­DI­ANT COLOR RATHER THAN SIZE, THE DI­A­MOND SPARKLES AS IF LIT BY AN IN­NER FLAME.

The Tiffany Di­a­mond was the high­light of the jeweler’s award­win­ning ex­hibits at the great world’s fairs, in­clud­ing the 1893 World’s Colom­bian Ex­po­si­tion in Chicago; the 1901 Pan-amer­i­can Ex­po­si­tion in Buf­falo, New York; the 1933-34 Cen­tury of Progress in Chicago; and the 1939-40 World’s Fair in New York.

Later ap­pear­ances in­cluded De Beers’ 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion in Kimberley, South Africa in 1971; the re-open­ing of Tiffany’s stores in Lon­don in 1986 and Tokyo in 1996; and the 2006 Be­jew­eled by Tiffany ex­hi­bi­tion at Som­er­set House in Lon­don. The di­a­mond has ap­peared in the win­dows of the Fifth Av­enue flag­ship store on one oc­ca­sion. Tiffany’s renowned win­dow de­signer Gene Moore placed the di­a­mond in the hands of a float­ing gold wire an­gel for a 1955 hol­i­day dis­play. Passersby were amazed to see that the di­a­mond was clearly vis­i­ble from across the street.

Many peo­ple have asked if the Tiffany Di­a­mond is for sale. In­deed, it once was. Tiffany’s Novem­ber 17, 1972 ad­ver­tise­ment in The New York Times wit­tily an­nounced the un-set stone could be pur­chased for $5,000,000 (the equiv­a­lent of $25,800,000 to­day). The of­fer, how­ever, was good for 24

hours and whether for rea­sons of thrift or dis­be­lief, there were no buy­ers.

ONLY TWO WOMEN HAVE EVER WORN THE TIFFANY DI­A­MOND.

Mrs. Mary Whitehouse wore a lav­ish neck­lace set with the di­a­mond for the 1957 Tiffany Ball in New­port, Rhode Is­land; and Au­drey Hep­burn® wore a Jean Sch­lum­berger neck­lace of di­a­mond rib­bons sur­round­ing the di­a­mond in pub­lic­ity pho­to­graphs for the 1961 film Break­fast at Tiffany’s. Sch­lum­berger also de­signed the now fa­mous Bird on a Rock in which the di­a­mond was mounted for the 1995 Sch­lum­berger ret­ro­spec­tive at the Musée des Arts Dé­co­rat­ifs in Paris.

For Tiffany’s 175th an­niver­sary in 2012 this price­less gem was re­set in a mag­nif­i­cent neck­lace of daz­zling white di­a­monds, to­tal­ing over 120 carats. The neck­lace was a year in the mak­ing, and be­came the cen­ter­piece of an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions in Tokyo, Bei­jing, Dubai and New York City. Re­turn­ing to its per­ma­nent place of honor on the Main Floor of Tiffany’s Fifth Av­enue store, the neck­lace ush­ered the Tiffany Di­a­mond into a bril­liant new era, with ut­most re­spect for the stone and its great legacy.

In its only ap­pear­ance in Tiffany’s Fifth Av­enue win­dows, the Di­a­mond is placed in the hands of a gold wire an­gel for a hol­i­day dis­play by famed win­dow de­signer Gene Moore. The bright and shin­ing stone could eas­ily be seen from across the street. The Di­a­mond high­lights Tiffany’s ex­hibit at the Chicago World’s Columbian Ex­po­si­tion. A rough di­a­mond of 287.42 carats is dis­cov­ered in the Kimberley mines of South Africa.

Tiffany and its mag­nif­i­cent Di­a­mond re­ceive top hon­ors at the Pan-amer­i­can Ex­po­si­tion in Buf­falo. Charles Lewis Tiffany pur­chases the stone and sends it to Paris where it is cut to 128.54 carats. Of­fi­cially named the Tiffany Di­a­mond, it is deemed one of the world’s largest and finest fancy yel­low di­a­monds.

TIFFANY & CO., T&CO. and TIFFANY are trade­marks of Tiffany and Com­pany. Au­drey Hep­burn® Trade­mark and Like­ness Li­censed by Li­cens­ing Artists LLC for Sean Fer­rer and Luca Dotti.

In a witty ad placed in The New York Times, Tiffany an­nounces that the Di­a­mond may be pur­chased for $5,000,000 (the equiv­a­lent of $25,800,000 to­day) within a 24-hour pe­riod. The Di­a­mond ap­pears as part of a cel­e­bra­tion of the Na­tional Gem Col­lec­tion at the Smith­so­nian’s Na­tional Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

A Jean Sch­lum­berger ret­ro­spec­tive at the Musée des Arts Dé­co­rat­ifs in Paris fea­tures the Di­a­mond in his “Bird on a Rock” set­ting.

ean Sch­lum­berger’s Rib­bon Rosette neck­lace is et with the Di­a­mond and worn by Au­drey Hep­burn® n pub­lic­ity pho­to­graphs for the film Break­fast at if­fany’s. Hep­burn later wrote of the gem in a let­ter o Tiffany & Co., bor­row­ing the words of John Keats: A thing of beauty is a joy for­ever.”

For the 175th an­niver­sary of Tiffany’s found­ing, the Di­a­mond is re­set in a mag­nif­i­cent neck­lace of daz­zling white di­a­monds. Af­ter ap­pear­ing at an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions around the world, the Di­a­mond in its bril­liant new set­ting re­turns to its per­ma­nent place of honor on the Main Floor of Tiffany’s Fifth Av­enue store.

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