The World’s Most Famous Diamonds – The Tiffany Yellow Diamond – Peter's Vaults

The World’s Most Famous Diamonds – Part 5

Peter Lopez

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

Today I am excited to bring you part 5 in my series of the World's greatest diamonds, and what a great diamond it is.

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered; its carat weight was 287.42 carats in the rough when discovered in 1878 in the Kimberley mine in South Africa and was cut into a cushion shape of 128.54 carats with 82 facets—24 more than a traditional round brilliant—to maximize its brilliance.

The facet pattern features eight needle-like facets pointing outward from the culet (bottom) facet.

Jewelry and diamond historian Herbert Tillander refers to this as a ‘stellar brilliant cut’ and lists the gem in his book “Diamond Cuts in Historic Jewelry – 1381 to 1910” (1995) among other such diamonds: The Koh-I-Noor, the Polar Star, the Wittelsbach,  which is also in my 10 part series.

 

The Worlds greatest diamonds – the tiffany yellow diamond – peters vault

Discovered in South Africa in 1878, the stone was purchased by New York jeweler Charles Tiffany in 1879.

His gemologist, George Frederick Kunz, studied the gem for a year before beginning to cut it; reducing it from 287 carats to its current size. The cutting was carried out in Tiffany's Paris branch.

Kunz was a mere twenty-three years old at the time.

Kunz added facets to the accepted square antique brilliant-cut, bringing the total to eighty-two. The result is a scintillating cut that returns a great deal of light to the eye. Large diamonds of comparable brilliance were not fashioned until well into the 20th century.

It was later mounted by Jean Schlumberger.

The Worlds greatest diamonds – the tiffany yellow diamond – peters vault

 

Audrey Hepburn in 1961 for publicity photographs for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The gem was on loan from Tiffany & Co. to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. and was on display from April 18, 2007, until September 23, 2007. At the time, Jeffrey E. Post, the museum`s gem curator, said that this was the largest diamond on display in the U.S.

The famous Hope Diamond is only 45.5 carats, which is about one-third the mass of the Tiffany Yellow Diamond.

The diamond is known to have been worn by only two women during its lifetime. It was worn by Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse, at the 1957 Tiffany Ball held in Newport, Rhode Island, mounted for the occasion in a necklace of white diamonds.

It was subsequently worn by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 publicity photographs for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. next week, you are going to love part 6 as it is very unusual and very AWESOME 😎

 The Worlds greatest diamonds – the tiffany yellow diamond – peters vault



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