The Tiffany Diamond Is on a Visit to Canada
Audrey Hepburn wore it in publicity photos for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
You know the one—huge, canary yellow, cushion-shaped, just a carat and a half shy of 130—The Tiffany Diamond takes a rare leave of absence from Tiffany & Co.’s Fifth Avenue flagship to visit the Vancouver store on Burrard Street, its very first trip to Canada.
To celebrate the diamond’s arrival, Tiffany & Co. hosted a luncheon on Friday to discuss the gemstone’s storied history. Discovered at 287.42-carat rough in 1877 at the Kimberley Mine, the stone cost $18,000 USD before it was cut to 128.54 carats with 82 facets.
As one of the few people permitted to handle the stone for the past 30 years, chief gemologist and vice-president of high jewellery Melvyn Kirtley notes, “The technology was very primitive then, but it looks like it was cut yesterday. It was designed to hold onto the light and smoulder.” Save for a PR stunt in the New York Times in the ‘60s which marked it at $5 million, the Tiffany Diamond has never been priced (naturally, because it’s not for sale).
Set four times, most recently in 2012 for Tiffany & Co.’s 175th anniversary, the stone has only been worn twice, most iconically by Audrey Hepburn in publicity photos for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. When asked who might be the third to have the honour, Kirtley says, diplomatically, “It’s impossible to say.” But amongst themselves, guests suggested Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
(The Tiffany Diamond will be on display at Tiffany & Co., 723 Burrard Street in Vancouver through January 8, 2018.)