Tiffany Diamond on View

27 05 2007

Ah, if only Holly Golightly were around, she might be making a bee-line to Washington D.C. where the Smithsonian Natural Museum of History is currently showing the Tiffany Diamond.

The fancy yellow diamond helped earn a 19th-century jeweler, Charles Lewis Tiffany, the nickname “King of Diamonds.” Tiffany acquired the South African diamond in 1878 for $18,000. A famous gemologist of the era, George Frederick Kunz, supervised its cutting—a task that took nearly a year.

Today, the Tiffany Diamond is the icon of Tiffany & Co., where it has been on view for nearly 70 years. Tiffany designer Jean Schlumberger designed three jeweled settings for the Tiffany Diamond in 1956. The current setting “Bird on a Rock” was mounted in 1995. This is the first time the Tiffany Diamond has been shown at a U.S. museum outside of New York.

The loan of the diamond celebrates a $1.1 million gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Also on view for the first time are two rare gemstones that were purchased for the National Gem Collection through an endowment created by The Tiffany & Co.  The exhibition runs until September 23, 2007.

Source:  Smithsonian Natural Museum of History

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