The Timeless Elegance of Tiffany’s Iconic 1939 World’s Fair Necklace Comes Full Circle

Feb 10, 2021 — Reimagining an iconic archival design, Tiffany & Co. will unveil the sparkling new necklace—set with an extraordinary over-80-carat diamond—in tandem with the reopening of the House’s Fifth Avenue flagship store in 2022.

A beacon of light in dark times, the World’s Fair debuted in 1939 in New York City amid the shadow of the Great Depression. Emblematic of the dawn of a new day, the unprecedented global exhibition brought hopeful glimpses of “The World of Tomorrow” to life in dazzling displays. Fantastic and futuristic visions of art and innovation delighted international visitors and locals alike. 

There, as guests watched in anticipation, exhibitors at the unique affair showcased fascinating feats of technology never before seen. From television broadcasts to a voice-controlled robot to a revolving theater cooled by air-conditioning, fair attendees witnessed the wonders of the world to come. What else sparked interest? Well-crafted, eye-catching jewels, of course. 

Curious onlookers were captivated by Tiffany & Co.’s extravagant display, including a luxurious 429-diamond necklace featuring a singular 200-carat aquamarine gem. Millions gathered to behold the spectacle ahead of the opening of Tiffany’s flagship store on 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The brilliant presentation symbolized new beginnings, aspirations and a sense of hope for brighter days ahead. 

Elevated Elegance, Refinement Revisited 

Today, that indelible historic moment has come full circle: Tiffany is reimagining the iconic World’s Fair necklace in all its original splendor, but with an elevated twist. For the centerpiece, the high jewelry House acquired an over-80-carat, internally flawless oval diamond to recreate the stunning piece. 

What’s more, the extraordinary gemstone will be unveiled at the anticipated reopening of the transformed Tiffany Fifth Avenue flagship store, making history once again. Talk about making a grand entrance – or in this case, re-entrance.

“What better way to mark the opening of our transformed Tiffany flagship in 2022 than to reimagine this incredible necklace from the 1939 World’s Fair, one of our most celebrated pieces when we opened our doors on 57th Street and Fifth Avenue for the first time,” said Victoria Wirth Reynolds, Tiffany & Co. Chief Gemologist. “The World’s Fair Necklace perfectly reflects our brand heritage as a New York luxury jeweler whose founder was known as the ‘King of Diamonds.’”

A One-of-a-Kind Gem

This remarkable gem represents Tiffany’s largest diamond acquisition since obtaining the exquisite 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond back in 1878. Unlike the legendary Tiffany Diamond, which is famously not for sale, this exquisite stone will be set in a necklace that is expected to be Tiffany’s most expensive piece yet. 

With an estimated price tag in the tens of millions, the necklace and its over-80-carat diamond are far from ordinary. Sourced from Botswana, Africa, the exceptional center stone symbolizes the brand’s industry-first approach to traceability, making it not only a rare jewel, but also a responsible one. Our New York City artisans will meticulously set the diamond in its new yet historic home. 

Stringing Together the Past and Present

Just as visitors to the 1939 World’s Fair marveled at the magnificence of the original necklace, a new generation will be awestruck by this thoughtfully revamped piece. And, when Tiffany’s doors reopen next year, a new chapter will begin in its storied history as a high jewelry destination.