Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Arpege Diamonds Presents Famous Yellow Diamonds: The Tiffany Yellow

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 5/16/16 8:00 AM

Arpege Diamonds continues on a journey to find the world’s most enchanting famous diamonds. This time is one that is recognized worldwide for its superior size and dazzling color, The Tiffany Yellow.


Image Source The Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Yellow Diamonds on Display

Fancy yellow diamonds have become one of the latest trends amongst Hollywood stars and haute couture runways, yet only diamond collectors and investors can detect the true potential of a yellow diamond in today’s market. Fancy yellow diamonds are graded according to the hue of yellow within the stone, ranging from light yellow to fancy vivid. Their color is often referred to as “Canary Yellow,” meaning pure yellow, which are the rarest to find and subsequently the most expensive on the yellow scale. Aside from color, the cut of these diamonds often plays a significant role in the value since various cuts can enhance the color intensity more than others.

Although yellow diamonds are not the rarest of the fancy colored diamonds, the demand for yellow stones continues to steadily increase, resulting in the rise of values. Yet yellow diamonds remain more affordable than other fancy diamond colors.  Many of the highest prices at auction have actually derived from yellow diamonds, such as the Graff Yellow, which sold for $16.3 million, making these a solid stepping-stone into the market of fancy colored diamonds as alternative investments.

The Tiffany Yellow is known as one of the world’s largest diamonds ever discovered. However, many conflicting stories have been passed along through the years about its true origin. It is believed that this 287.42-carat gem originated from the Kimberley Mine in South Africa between 1877 and 1878 and was possibly owned by the De Beers Mines, a French company.

In 1879 the diamond was purchased for $18,000 by the Tiffany & Co. branch in Paris, where the cutting and polishing was lead by gemologist George F. Kunz. After one year, the finished result by the distinguished gemologist was a 128.54-carat cushion-cut brilliant gem with a total of 82 facets revealing its stunning brilliance and captivating color. The Tiffany Yellow is now a prime example of the “Canary Yellow” hue.

 Over the years, the diamond has been displayed at Tiffany & Co. stores as well as several exhibitions worldwide, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, The Chicago Columbian, The Pan-American and The New York World’s. The exquisite stone has only been worn on two occasions. One at the 1957 Tiffany Ball by Sheldon Whitehouse and in 1961 by Aubrey Hepburn for a photograph promoting the famous movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The stone was set on a brooch named “Bird on the Rock” which was also designed by one of Tiffany’s & Co. jewelers. 

In 1972, the unmounted Tiffany Yellow diamond was advertised for sale in the New York Times for $5 million during a flash sale that lasted only 24 hours and resulted in no buyer. Since then, the diamond remains on display permanently on the main floor of Tiffany’s & Co. Fifth Avenue store in New York.

For more reading on colored diamonds, see the links below:

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Topics: History


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