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A bird in the hand…

Sep 18th, 2012

A bird in the hand…

The Tiffany Yellow DiamondThe Tiffany Yellow Diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered; it weighed 287.42 carat in the rough when discovered in 1878 in the Kimberley mine in South Africa, and was cut into a cushion shape of 128.54 carat with 90 facets—32 more than a traditional round brilliant—to maximize its brilliance (someone knew what they were doing way back then!)

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, among others.

The stone was purchased by the legendary New York jeweler Charles Tiffany. His gemologist, George Frederick Kunz, studied the gem for a year before beginning to cut it; reducing it from 287 carat to its current size.

The cutting was carried out in Paris. Kunz was a mere 23 years old at the time. It was mounted by Jean Schlumberger.

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.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Famous Diamonds

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