The Tiffany, which was initially a 287.42-carat rough stone and one of the largest fancy yellow diamonds ever discovered, is said to have been discovered in one of the mines of the Compagnie française de Diamant du Cap, in South Africa, around 1878. It was sent to Paris to be cut. Experts first studied it for a year before the actual cutting work started, under the supervision of the gemologist George F. Kunz. The result was a 128.51-carat cushion shape diamond with a total of 90 facets.
In 1879, Gideon Reed bought the diamond for his employer, Tiffany, and sent it to the United States. Although yellow diamonds do exist in relatively large numbers, most of these are only slightly tinted. Canary yellow diamonds, such as the Tiffany, are extremely rare, especially for such a large stone.