For the numerically conscious, eight is a powerful symbol. Considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture, it is phonetically similar to “prosper” or “good fortune” in both Mandarin and Cantonese. For Christian Dior, eight was also auspicious — the designer formally founded the house on October 8, 1946, with a collection of eight workshops spanning eight floors in Paris’s Eighth Arrondissement — and it has remained an enduring figure in the maison’s legacy.
In 2020, when the stunning Le Montaigne yellow diamond was discovered at South Africa’s historic Kimberley Mine, the house declared it would acquire the diamond on one condition: that the 150-carat rough-cut gem weigh exactly 88.88 carats once shaped — a nod to the founder’s penchant for the numeral. Named for the flagship boutique’s 30 Avenue Montaigne address, the cushion-cut diamond has near-perfect clarity, is graded Fancy Intense (a mark of its colour saturation) and has undergone nine months of examination, modelling and shaping by master gem-cutters.
Le Montaigne is currently on display at the newly renovated 30 Montaigne Paris store, however it will ultimately be integrated into a custom-made two-finger ring. Designed by Victoire de Castellane, the artistic director of Dior Joaillerie, the piece will hero the canary-hued diamond, showcasing it among clusters of multicoloured gem flowers in full bloom.