The world-famous Tiffany Diamond is making its first-ever appearance at the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection in Washington, D.C., and will remain on view until Sept. 23. The loan of the diamond celebrates a $1.1 million gift from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation to establish an endowment—to be known as The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Collection—for the acquisition of important gemstones.
Also on view for the first time are two rare gemstones, a purple 40.10 ct. Mozambique tourmaline and a 15.93 ct. tsavorite garnet, which also were purchased through the Tiffany endowment.
“The Smithsonian is honored to host the spectacular Tiffany Diamond and grateful for the generosity of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s endowment to the Natural History Museum,” said Cristián Samper, acting secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. “Through this endowment the National Gem Collection’s position as the world’s preeminent collection of fine gemstones will continue to be enhanced for generations to come.”
“The endowment from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation provides a tremendous opportunity for the Smithsonian to acquire gemstones from newly discovered sources and to enhance the National Gem Collection,” said Jeffrey Post, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection.
The loose Tiffany Diamond is a cushion shape of 128.54 cts. with 82 facets. It now appears in the Bird on a Rock setting, designed in the early 1960s by Jean Schlumberger. The bird is gold and platinum with white and yellow diamonds accented by a ruby eye.
The National Gem Collection, created in 1884, is recognized for its breadth of world-class precious gemstones, including the Hope Diamond. Tiffany & Co. has been an active supporter of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection since 1983.