Lady Gaga is naturally going all-out for the 91st Academy Awards, and her jewelry is no exception, Harper’s Bazaar is reporting. Gaga is wearing one of the most recognized pieces of jewelry, yet also one of the rarest; Gaga’s appearance is only the third time it’s been worn out in public. The singer-turned-movie star is rocking a famous stone most recognized from another movie star: Audrey Hepburn. The iconic piece? The Tiffany diamond.
The Tiffany diamond is the most highly revered piece of jewelry in the Tiffany & Co. archives. The diamond was first found in South Africa in 1877, and was sold to Tiffany a year later. The stone was originally a stunning 287.42 carats, but was cut down by Tiffany’s chief gemologist at the time, Dr. George Frederick Kunz. It’s hard to believe the yellow diamond is actually smaller than it used to be, at 128.54 carats. The diamond resides under lock and key at Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue location, but Gaga was apparently considered prestigious enough to wear it publicly.
The diamond is a cushion-cut brilliant and has 82 facets, which is a whopping 24 more facets than a typical brilliant-cut stone. It was first worn by Mrs. Mary Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball in Newport, Rhode Island, but Hepburn was granted permission to wear it shortly after for her starring role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn proceeded to wear the diamond in a Jean Schlumberger necklace of diamond ribbons surrounding the stone for promotional photos.
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In 2012, the diamond was reset in a necklace consisting of white diamonds to celebrate the brands 175th anniversary. In total, the necklace came in at over 100 carats. February 24, 2019 is the first time the diamond is being worn to an awards show, and Gaga paired the necklace with a custom black Alexander McQueen gown, making her appearance reminiscent of the legendary Hepburn, who wore the diamond before her.
While the diamond is no longer for sale, it was surprisingly available for purchase once. In 1972, Tiffany & Co. published an ad in The New York Times that offered the diamond for $5,000,000 for anyone who showed interest within 24 hours of the ad’s debut. That price equates to about $30,000,000 today. The diamond had no bids, and is now too famous to sell.
Gaga is known for making statements on the red carpet, so it’s no surprise that the singer decided to rock the diamond for her first Oscar nomination for her performance in A Star is Born.