Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga both had the privilege of wearing the 128.54 Tiffany Yellow Diamond | Source: Michael Stillwell Getty Images

The Story Behind the 128-Carat Tiffany Yellow Diamond and the Women Who Worn It

Weighing in at an incredible 287.42 carats in rough form, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond was first discovered in South Africa’s Kimberley Mine in 1877. Purchased by Tiffany and Co. founder Charles Tiffany for approximately A$24,800 in 1878, the rare diamond was then cut to enhance its rich yellow colour, resulting in a cut and polished 128.54-carat diamond with a total of 82 facets.

As one of the world’s largest and finest yellow diamonds, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is arguably one of the most coveted and well-known jewels in modern history. Worn publicly by just four women in its more than 140-year history, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond remains an exclusive and elusive gem.

Mrs E Sheldon Whitehouse

The Tiffany Diamond made its public debut on the neck of Rhode Island socialite Mrs Mary Whitehouse at a benefit Tiffany Ball in 1957. Mary, the wife of senator and American diplomat Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, was loaned the incredible jewel as part of a lavish necklace for the ball sponsored by the luxury jewellers.

Audrey Hepburn

What really solidified the Tiffany Diamond is not just the fashion world but also pop culture was the jewel’s debut on screen. Worn by Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s showcased the diamond in all its glittering glory while also reaffirming Tiffany and Co.’s brand as synonymous with sophistication, romance and glamour.

The diamond was re-set into a ribbon-like necklace by Jean Schlumberger and worn by the Hollywood star for publicity photos for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Lady Gaga

In paying homage to the iconic costuming of Holly Golightly, pop star Lady Gaga paired the incredible gem with a classic strapless gown and gloves. With her hair swept into an up-do, Gaga wore the yellow diamond as a pendant necklace for the Oscars in 2019 where she was awarded Best Original Song.

While on The Graham Norton Show Lady Gaga told the story of how she was pulled over by Tiffany’s security after leaving the Academy Awards to go to Taco Bell while wearing the multi-million dollar diamond.

Beyoncé Knowles

The fourth and most recent woman to wear the diamond, and the first black woman, is Beyoncé Knowles. As part of Tiffany’s campaign ‘About Love’, the singer wears her hair in a messy up-do to showcase the Tiffany Yellow Diamond. A classic Holly Golightly-Esque black ball gown and gloves also hint toward’s the gems famed history.

For more inspiration on exquisite gems and the stories behind them you will enjoy our coverage of The Most Precious Sapphires Ever: The Story of the Legendary Blue Gemstones, The Power of the Brooch: Sotheby’s Brilliant Menagerie Collection Goes Under the Hammer and The Statement Jewel: How to Wear Lapel Pins For Every Occasion.

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