History of the Tiffany yellow diamond worn by Audrey Hepburn

The yellow diamond of Tiffany & Co., when the history of high jewelery is intertwined with fashion and cinema

Inside a Milanese residence, guardian of Milanese history among frescoes, chandeliers and period chairs, kept in a dark alcove, shines one of the most precious pieces worn by international stars, sported only by 4 women since it was cut and mounted. We are talking about the priceless yellow diamond from Tiffany & Co., what the New York Times, 50 years ago, announced was an investment that “it will easily be worth $ 10,000,000 in a hundred years“.

For the occasion, a work of art was created curated by Daniele Papuli, the artist who uses colored paper to shape his sculptures, and who here created a giant yellow diamond to welcome visitors, while the interiors of the house Milanese have been transformed into a Yellow Box to contextualize the unique piece, the collection of yellow diamonds and other exquisite original pieces by Tiffany & Co ..

Tiffany Yellow Diamonds Milan 11-05-22 @lodoclickLodovico Colli di Felizzano @lodoclick

Tiffany Yellow Diamonds Milan 11-05-22 @lodoclickLodovico Colli di Felizzano @lodoclick

The incredible discovery in 1877

We are in the South African mines of Kimberley, in 1877, and a rough stone of 287.42 carats is extracted: a year later the founder of Tiffany & Co., Charles Lewis Tiffany, buys the piece for 18 thousand dollars to take it to Paris where it is cut under the supervised by the trusted gemologist, George Frederick Kunz. A is chosen cushion cut which boasts 82 facets to ensure maximum brightness. Thus was born the iconic 128.54 carat yellow diamond.

Only four women wore the yellow diamond

In such a long history, it is astonishing that only four women have had the honor of wearing this wonder of Nature and crafted by human ingenuity.

July 13, 1957 was the day the Tiffany & Co. yellow diamond was worn for the first time in public: it is Mary Whitehouse – wife of the American diplomat Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse – who wears it around her neck on the occasion of the Tiffany Ball at the Rhode Island Marble House, charity appointment of theupper class aimed at raising funds to restore some buildings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (among those present there is also a young and promising John Fitzgerald Kennedy). For the occasion, Tiffany & Co. lent the wonderful diamond mounted on a necklace to the well-known socialite.

Tiffany Yellow Diamonds Milan 11-05-22 @lodoclickLodovico Colli di Felizzano @lodoclick

It was the second worldly occasion to make him famous, seen on the icon Audrey Hepburn during the premiere of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), thus sealing the dream on 5th Avenue. It is an opportunity to mount the yellow stone on a ribbon rosette necklace by French designer Jean Schlumberger. On the death of the designer (1987) the yellow diamond reappears on one of his brooches A Bird on a rock.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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