The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

September 21, 2018 / Coloured Gemstones, Engagement Rings

Also known as The Tiffany Yellow, The Tiffany is one of the largest fancy vivid, yellow diamonds in the world.  It has been described as one of the finest examples of its kind ever seen.

For virtually all of the time since it was first purchased, by Tiffany & Co. over 120 years ago, it has been displayed, for the pleasure of the many who have come to see it, at Tiffany’s prestigious head office address, on 5th Avenue, in New York.

The Tiffany was famous long before its well-remembered appearance in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The original rough diamond crystal, a 287.42 carat octahedron, was found in South Africa in 1877, in one of the central Kimberley mines.  At the time it was one of the largest vivid yellow diamonds that had ever been seen.

Following its discovery, it was shipped to its owners in France where it was subsequently purchased by the head of Tiffany & Co. in Paris on behalf of the US parent company.

In 1879, after a year of studying, it was cut in Paris under the supervision of the noted gemologist George F. Kunz. The result was a 128.5 carat, cushion shaped, canary-yellow diamond, the largest cut diamond of that colour ever known.

In June, 1890 it was shipped to Tiffany’s head office in New York where, apart from being displayed at a limited number of exhibitions in the United States and elsewhere around the world, it has remained ever since.

At one time, reportedly, The Tiffany was offered for sale but was never bought. Its value today is unknown and, according to Tiffany’s it is simply not for sale.

Who’s Worn the Tiffany Yellow?

The Tiffany Yellow, has only been worn by four women: Audrey Hepburn, Mrs. E Sheldon Whitehouse (an American socialite), Lady Gaga and Beyonce. 

Audrey Hepburn

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The necklace the Tiffany Yellow was set into for Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was designed by Jean Schlumberger. After the designers passing in 1987, it was set into another design by him, this time a brooch, known as “Bird on a Rock.”

Lady Gaga

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The Tiffany Yellow was re-set into this necklace in 2012 for Tiffany’s 175th anniversary, and in this design features an additional 100 white diamonds, and adjusted here so Lady Gaga could wear it as a choker. 


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As a part of Tiffany’s 2021 “About Love” campaign, Beyonce wears the Tiffany Yellow, as the first black woman in history to do so. We can also see the Tiffany Yellow is being worn differently here, with a longer chain and when worn in the front, a more relaxed fit around the neck, sitting lower on Beyonce’s chest and collarbones than with Lady Gaga.  

Death on the Nile

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In the 2022 film Death on the Nile, the Tiffany Yellow has a leading role. For security reasons, the film used a number of replicas of the Tiffany Yellow rather than the genuine article, so Gal Gadot hasn’t technically worn the Tiffany Yellow, but rather, some stunning recreations. 

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