The "Lemonade" singer wore the 128-carat Tiffany Diamond for her and husband Jay-Z's appearance in the luxury brand's new "About Love" campaign. As such, Beyoncé became the fourth woman and the first Black woman to wear the jewel, which was bought by Tiffany & Co. in 1878.
Lady Gaga previously wore the priceless necklace to the 2019 Oscars, while Audrey Hepburn wore it to promote Breakfast at Tiffany's in 1961.
Additionally, the Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, Equals Pi (1982), was included in the backdrop of the campaign photos, marking the first time it's been shared with the public.
Despite these history-making moments and Tiffany's promise of a sizable donation to HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), many on the Internet have taken issue with a prominent Black artist wearing a diamond that was mined from South Africa during the colonial era.
Scholar and writer Zoé Tsamudzi noted the irony in a now-viral tweet, writing, "Tiffany's put Beyoncé in a diamond —'discovered' in a colonial mine in Kimberly in 1877—that no black woman has ever worn before in an ad with a never-ever-before-seen Basquiat and then pledged $2 million in scholarships & internships to HBCUs."
Another individual tweeted, "the fact that beyoncé can make BLACK IS KING, with all its little cosplay in continental african imagery, and still rep blood diamonds."
TheGrio, a self-described Black news organization, highlighted the debate around Beyoncé's accessory by posting a screenshot of Zoe's tweet, which caught the attention the attention of Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles. She commented on the post, "How many of you socially conscious activist own diamonds ? I thought so ! Well guess what did you go to try to check to see where the diamond came from? Probably not !"
"So when you guys get engaged you won't have a diamond you gonna put on a sterling silver band," she continued. "And you better check out where it came from and the origin of where came from and why you add it check out the calls for the Leather that you weird because they made it came from another country to to ban and not buy diamonds right because your righteous !!"
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have yet to address the backlash.
When the first campaign images were shared, Tiffany's Executive Vice President of Product & Communications Alexandre Arnault said in a statement, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the epitome of the modern love story. As a brand that has always stood for love, strength and self-expression, we could not think of a more iconic couple that better represents Tiffany's values. We are honored to have the Carters as a part of the Tiffany family."