THE STORY OF THE 128-CARAT TIFFANY DIAMOND: FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO NEW YORK TO CHINA

Saturday, January 11, 2014

World-renowned jeweler Tiffany & Co. brought the brilliance of its design to Beijing, China by presenting for the first time the magnificent 128-carat Tiffany Diamond. Unveiled in 1878, the Tiffany Diamond is the finest and most beautiful fancy yellow diamond ever discovered, as well as the only diamond named after Tiffany. The luxury jeweler also celebrated more than 175 years as the world’s leading purveyor of the finest diamonds by displaying a momentous exhibition, “A Brilliant Legacy,” featuring treasures from the Tiffany Archives.



Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co.; Stéphane Lafay, group vice president, head of Asia-Pacific and Japan; Melvyn Kirtley, chief gemologist; and Sylvia Au Yeung, managing director, China, welcomed more than 200 prestigious guests who were impressed by the exceptional masterpieces and legendary charm of the jeweler.

“The Tiffany Diamond is our greatest icon. It has been the cornerstone of our legacy with its rarity, unrivalled quality, outstanding craftsmanship and excellent design, manifesting the vision of our founder. Presenting this legendary icon in Beijing shows our commitment to China, an important strategic market in our development plan,” said Kowalski.



The star-studded gala included the presence of famous actress Carina Lau, who stole the limelight on the red carpet with the sparkling Tiffany Rhapsody necklace. With diamonds weighing about 30 carats, the piece catches attention with a pendant adorned with a sparkling20-carat vivid yellow diamond. Ni Ni, Shu-pei Qin, Liang Zhang, Da-wei Tong, Yue Guan, Joe Chen, Tao Yin and other friends of Tiffany & Co. were all mesmerized by the brand’s heritage.

In honor of the exhibition, the renowned composer Tan Dun, widely known for his scores for the films Croughing Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, composed an original score inspired by the purity and brilliance of the Tiffany Diamond. At the exhibition held in Beijing, he and his orchestra presented the score for the very first time, recounting the wondrous story of the Tiffany Diamond with the pure notes.



Discovered in the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa in 1877, the 287.42-carat rough stone was acquired the following year by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany. The acquisition underscored Mr. Tiffany’s reputation as the “King of Diamonds” and made his enterprise the world’s diamond authority. The rough stone was cut into a cushion-shaped brilliant weighing 128.54 carats with an unprecedented 82 facets — 24 more facets than the traditional 58-facet brilliant cut. Cut to maximize its extraordinary beauty and color, the diamond sparkles as if lit by an inner flame.

In 1961, Audrey Hepburn wore a Jean Schlumberger necklace of diamond ribbons surrounding the diamond in publicity photographs for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Schlumberger also designed the now famous Bird on a Rock setting in which the diamond was mounted for the 1995 Schlumberger retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.



For Tiffany’s 175th anniversary in 2012, this priceless gem was reset in a magnificent necklace of dazzling white diamonds totaling over 100 carats, including 20 carats of Tiffany’s Lucida cut diamonds and 58 carats of brilliant cut diamonds.

The Tiffany Diamond was a highlight of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the 1939 to 40 World’s Fair in New York City. It has been exhibited in museums worldwide. Now, the Tiffany Diamond is on display in China as the centerpiece of the exhibition, which is based on four themes:

The gilded age

Charles Lewis Tiffany had the vision to create spectacular beauty beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. In 1837, he founded Tiffany & Co. in New York City, where he introduced major gemstones to the US. with diamonds acquired from European royalty and created the lavish jewels that defined America’s Gilded Age (1876-1916). In 1878, he acquired the stone that became the famous Tiffany Diamond, a rare and beautiful fancy yellow diamond. Later, he purchased the French Crown Jewels and introduced the Tiffany Setting, the ultimate symbol of true love.

Inspired by nature

Tiffany’s heritage was established in part with jewels based on the patterns of the natural world. This tradition was embraced by generations of artisans, who were masters of the craft. Brilliant designs emerged from their skilled hands, inspired by four seasons of splendor. From enameled orchid brooches that won top honors at the 1889 Paris World’s Fair to dragonflies resplendent in diamonds, these original creations established Tiffany as the undisputed leader in the world of jewels. To explore them is to enter a realm of perennial beauty intricate in scale and boundless in imagination.

Art deco

Throughout the Jazz Age, Tiffany & Co. continued as the foremost jeweler of American luxury, with diamonds inspired by the streamlined contours of New York’s Art Deco skyscrapers. The period’s celebrated glamour and style is reflected in The Great Gatsby Collection, featuring jewels of white diamonds and platinum punctuated with colorful gemstones, created by Tiffany exclusively for Baz Luhrmann’s film. Inspired by designs from the Tiffany Archives, the opulent creations capture the modern movement of 1920s fashion and the era’s newfound exuberance.

Tiffany’s New York glamour

The whole world is enchanted by the glamour of New York. As the city’s first great jeweler, Tiffany & Co. is forever linked to its rise as an international capital of style and sophistication. Tiffany’s lofty Fifth Avenue home is the center of chic, where society’s elite selects the jewels for elegant evenings at supper clubs, movie premieres and the great concert halls. This legacy is reflected in art, literature and film, beginning with the 1961 classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s that perfectly captured the Tiffany magic and spirit. Now as then, the jeweler’s diamonds adorn celebrities on the biggest nights of the year.

Tiffany & Co. operates jewelry stores and manufactures products through its subsidiary corporations. Its principal subsidiary is Tiffany and Company. The Company operates Tiffany & Co. retail stores and boutiques in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Japan, Europe and the United Arab Emirates and engages in direct selling through Internet, catalogue and business gift operations.

For inquiries, visit Tiffany.com. In the Philippines, Tiffany is exclusively available at Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-La.

You Might Also Like

0 comments