Tiffany & Co. recently unveiled an 80 carat D flawless oval diamond, the storied jewelry house’s most expensive ever in its 184 year history. Set in a reimagined archival design from the house’s 1939 World’s Fair collection, it’s truly a diamond and design for the record books.
The mega diamond worth upwards of $20 million (Tiffany won’t confirm the price) is the centerpiece of a platinum necklace, which also features 578 round, brilliant and baguette diamonds. The new version of the glamorous 1939 archival design is also remarkably versatile: the diamond can easily be removed from the necklace and worn in a ring. In other words, the lucky owner of this new diamond gets two platinum jewelry designs with the stone.
Christened the Empire Diamond after the jeweler’s hometown, the stone was discovered in Botswana more than two years ago. Tiffany’s full craftsmanship journey report traces the diamond from the mine to blue box: The rough diamond went from Botswana to Israel for cutting, and then was sent to Tiffany’s New York jewelry workshop where it was made into a necklace and ring.
The show-stopping Empire Diamond necklace was revealed to VIP clients in Dubai last weekend as part of the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection event, which showcases the house’s most magnificent one-of-a-kind designs, loose gemstones and diamonds, which can be made into bespoke pieces. (The Empire necklace unfortunately wasn’t yet complete for the Blue Book collection’s earlier stops in Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles.)
Until now, the house’s most famous jewel was the celebrated Tiffany Diamond, a 128.54 carat canary yellow diamond, which was discovered in a South African mine in 1877 and purchased by Charles Lewis Tiffany, who had the 277 carat rough cut to its current size. He chose to keep the stone for posterity rather than sell it, and nearly 150 years later and it has never been offered for sale, remaining a central part of the Tiffany heritage.
The Tiffany Diamond is nearly as famous as the house’s iconic blue box. It’s rarely taken out, but when it is, the stone makes headlines: It was worn by Audrey Hepburn for the debut of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and again by Lady Gaga at the 2019 Academy Awards. More recently, Beyoncé wore the necklace in Tiffany’s About Love campaign, which features the performer with her husband Jay-Z in a marketing campaign that seems to be everywhere. It illustrates the lasting power of an important diamond, even one that isn’t for sale.