Tiffany Diamond continues to leave a legacy

Atlas Clark, Features Editor

The iconic Tiffany Diamond is a 129-karat yellow diamond that was mined in South Africa in 1877. However, the diamond weighed nearly 290 karats before it was cut and polished. The stone was originally bought by Tiffany and Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, for $24,800 just a year later in 1878. In the century and a half that it’s been in the spotlight, the diamond has only been worn by four people. 

The first time someone wore the diamond publicly was in 1957, 80 years after the stone was mined and purchased. Mary Whitehouse, a wealthy socialite, wore the necklace to a Tiffany benefit ball. However, the most famous instance of the Tiffany Diamond being worn by a celebrity was just four years later, by Hollywood actress Aubrey Hepburn, who wore the piece for a publicity shoot to promote her film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” 

Transitioning into the modern era of fashion, the necklace was worn by singer Lady Gaga on the red carpet at the 2019 Oscars. This was the first time the diamond had been worn publicly in nearly six decades. In 2021, just two years after being worn by Lady Gaga, the stone was worn for a Tiffany and Co. advertising campaign by none other than Beyoncé herself. This campaign, which featured both the singer and her husband, Jay-Z, made Beyoncé the first and only black woman to ever wear the iconic diamond necklace.

While the diamond itself was originally bought for $24,800, it was later set in a white diamond necklace of an additional 100 karats. This was the third time the stone had been set into a high-value jewelry piece. As of 2019, the necklace was said to be worth an estimated $30 million, although many say the piece is considered to be “priceless.”