Audrey Hepburn wearing the Tiffany Yellow Diamond

Tiffany Yellow Diamond: A Brilliant Movie Star

As one of the largest yellow diamonds in the world, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond has become a symbol of elegance, luxury and brilliance. Its rich history and story make this diamond one of the most talked about gems in the world. Weighing in at more than 128 karats, it is one of the few historic diamonds that exist in the world. From its discovery in 1878, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is still one of the most talked about and well known diamonds in the world.

The History of the Tiffany Yellow Diamond

Audrey Hepburn wearing the Tiffany Yellow Diamond
Audrey Hepburn wearing the famous Tiffany Yellow Diamond necklace

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond was discovered and mined in South Africa back in 1878. The sheer size of the diamond made it an instant gem celebrity. To maximize its brilliance, the large diamond was cut to have 82 facets. This is several more facets that a traditional cut diamond. After being discovered, the diamond found its way to a New York based jeweler, named Charles Tiffany. This would be the same man behind the Tiffany’s jewelry empire and the inspiration of the giant diamond’s name sake. Tiffany was very invested in the diamond and recruited his very own gemologist to study the gem for a full year before beginning the cutting process. After the diamond was cut, it was mounted by jewelry expert, Jean Schlumberger.

Because of its natural brilliance and size, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond became an instant sensation. However, it was only worn by two people in its entire existence. In 1957, it was worn for the first time by political figure, Sheldon Whitehouse for 1957 Tiffany Ball. For this occasion, the diamond was mounted in a large necklace made of white diamonds. The second time, it was worn by famous actress, Audrey Hepburn during a photo shoot for the classic film, Breakfast At Tiffany’s. After this 1961 appearance, the diamond was kept secure. In 2007, it was thrust back into the spotlight as it was put on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. From April to September 2007, museum visitors were able to feat their eyes on the world’s largest diamond, better known as the Tiffany Yellow Diamond.

Properties of the Tiffany Yellow Diamond

As a rough diamond, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond consisted of a whopping 287 carats. Of course, diamonds must be cut into facets to maximize its brilliance. After being cut into a shocking 82 facets (much more than normal diamonds), the massive diamond was still of record breaking weight at just a little over 128 carats. It beautiful light yellow color makes its brilliance even more radiant. In fact, many compare its color to the rays of a golden sun.

The diamond’s specific cut is classified as a modified antique cushion brilliant. Its appearance is breathtaking because of more than just its immense size. From the minute it came into the jewelry world, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond was an extremely sought after piece. However, Tiffany understand the importance of keeping such an iconic diamond under its safe keeping to ensure that it would remain safe and enjoyable for generations to come. The gem has been placed in several different mountings throughout its life, but it spends most of its time as a single gem.

Tiffany Yellow Diamond in Bird on a Rock
Tiffany Yellow Diamond mounted in “Bird on a Rock”

Myths Surrounding the Tiffany Yellow Diamond

As one of the most notable and iconic diamonds in the world, you could imagine that there would be some myths or conspiracies surrounding the Tiffany Yellow Diamond. Perhaps, an interesting jewelry heist gone wrong. However, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond has not been part of anything of the sort. This is most likely an impressive nod to Tiffany’s security, as well as the rarity that the diamond is used at public events (besides its normal flagship store display).

The diamond is constantly under the extreme security of Tiffany’s jewelry empire. With millions of dollars invested in this massive gem, it is no wonder that is so guarded. In fact, when the diamond does leave the store’s display for events, it is stored in a large bullet proof box surrounded by a massive team of security guards.

No one knows the exact price tag of the diamond. It is not for sale, but it is safe to say that it is priceless. It has become a symbol of Mr. Tiffany’s eye for jewelry as he built this successful empire. The diamond draws crowds wherever it goes with its impeccable beauty and design.

Tiffany Yellow Diamond is the largest diamond in existence. There are several other massive diamonds in the world, but the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is by far the largest and most popular piece.

Where Is the Tiffany Yellow Diamond Today?

In 2012, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond made its most recent publicity appearance for Tiffany’s 175th anniversary. For the celebration, the giant diamond was a new necklace setting of more than 100 karats of priceless diamonds. This priceless piece of jewelry was the spotlight of anniversary celebrations around the world.

After its whirlwind world tour, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond was returned to its home. Where might that be, you ask? The Tiffany Yellow Diamond spends its free time as the centerpiece display on the main floor of Tiffany’s flagship store located in New York. Each day, tourists and New York residents alike can gaze upon its beauty anytime.

Final Thoughts

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond has a very storied and rich history. From the minute it was discovered, it took the jewelry world by storm and has kept the spotlight ever since. As the world’s largest diamond, the giant gem has been the centerpiece of brilliant jewelry settings made by some of the greatest designers in the world. It stands for Tiffany’s dedication to providing high quality and luxurious diamonds to the world. Its place at the Tiffany’s flagship store is a reminder of elegance and refinement for anyone who gazes upon it.

Have you seen the Tiffany Yellow Diamond in person? Share your comments below.