The Tiffany Yellow Diamond Changes Settings

The renowned jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. is celebrating its 175th year.  In honor of its anniversary, Tiffany & Co. has reset the famous Tiffany Diamond into a new setting. The unveiling of the newly set 128.54-carat jewel took place recently after over a year’s time was dedicated to creating the necklace that now features the enormous stone.  The diamond will be displayed at upcoming anniversary events in Tokyo, Beijing, and Dubai, before it is returned to its home in New York City, where Tiffany & Co. was founded in 1837.

The Tiffany Diamond, originally a 287.42-carat rough stone found in the mines of Kimberley South Africa in 1877, is a 128.54-carat cushion-shaped fancy yellow diamond.  It is one of the largest, most beautiful, and most famous yellow diamonds in the world. The colored diamond was mounted onto a platinum necklace, which boasts 20 Lucida and 58 brilliant-cut diamonds, a total of over 120 carats.  The setting that holds the actual diamond features a sunray motif and an additional 481 diamonds.

The resetting of the diamond is symbolic in that it is the icon of the Tiffany brand and was the stepping-stone to the enormously successful business that Tiffany & Co. has been, and still remains today. Creating a new arrangement for the Tiffany Diamond shows commitment to the future, as stated by Jon King, the executive vice president of Tiffany & Co.

Charles Lewis Tiffany acquired the rough stone a year after it was discovered. It was this very purchase that helped him achieve the title of the “King of Diamonds” and create his diamond enterprise, known to be the world’s leading diamond authority. Dr. George Frederick Kunz, Tiffany’s chief gemologist, supervised the cutting of the diamond after it was brought to Paris. It was then cut into a cushion-shaped diamond, which displayed 82 facets.  Though the diamond is a brilliant-cut diamond, it boasts 24 facets more than the traditional 58-faceted brilliant-cut diamond. The diamond was cut in such a way that its color was enhanced rather than its size. It measures just over an inch in width and seven-eighths of an inch in height.

This gorgeous new setting makes it its fifth setting, with four previous historic and beautiful arrangements.  Two of these include original designs by Jean Schlumberger, the famous Tiffany jeweler. The first Schlumberger design was the Ribbon Rosette necklace created to promote the memorable 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The second was the Bird on a Rock setting used for Schlumberger’s 1995 retrospective at the Musee de Art Decoratifis in Paris.

Once the highlight of Tiffany’s award-winning exhibits at the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition as well as the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo New York and many others, the Tiffany Diamond will return to its rightful place, on display on the Main Floor of Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, at the conclusion of its 2012 anniversary tour.

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