The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

The Dastardly Past:  the Tiffany Yellow Diamond.

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“What a bonny thing,” he said.  “Think what crimes are committed for such playthings as this.  Great jewels are the devil’s pet bait.”  Sherlock Holmes, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”

From time to time, I plan to showcase examples of “the devil’s pet bait” in this blog, partly because jewels are an inducement to dastardly activity and partly because historic jewelry and jewelers fascinate me.  Today’s feature is the Tiffany Yellow Diamond.  This is a South African stone that weighed 287 carats when discovered at the Kimberley Mine in the 1870s.  It was cut into a modified antique cushion brilliant that reduced its weight to 128.5 carats.  It’s considered one of the largest yellow diamonds in the world.  It was purchased by Charles Tiffany and his eponymous company still owns it.  In 1961 they allowed Audrey Hepburn to wear it for publicity photos for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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