< BACK TO THE DIAMOND BLOG MAIN PAGE
07
August 2018

Like? Share!

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 2: Tiffany & Co

The name Tiffany & Co. evokes thoughts of little blue boxes, glass lamp shades, and for those who know, the Super Bowl’s Vince Lombardi Trophy. The store is famous for its Tiffany setting engagement rings, chain bracelets with an engraved heart charm, and delicate pendant necklaces. Where did this legacy start? Who is the man behind the Tiffany name?

Where Tiffany’s Began

Charles Lewis Tiffany was born on February 15, 1812. In 1837, Charles and his friend, John B. Young, borrowed $1,000 from Charles’ father and went to New York City to open a stationery store that would also sell jewelry and silverware. The company was called Tiffany & Young. In 1841, J.L. Ellis joined the store as a partner. Tiffany became known for his unique style, and he was always looking for one-of-a-kind objects to use in his jewelry. In 1851, Tiffany adopted the English silver standards. In 1853, Tiffany bought out his partners’ shares and renamed the company Tiffany & Co.

With the market diminishing at the start of the Civil War, Tiffany began to make swords, medals, and other items needed for war. These pieces were used to supply the Union Army. After the war ended, Tiffany went back to making jewelry. In 1868, he incorporated his company, and shortly thereafter he opened store branches in London, Geneva, and Paris.

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond – A Famous Breakthrough

Then in 1877, Tiffany secured his place in history when he purchased the famous “Tiffany diamond”. The fancy yellow diamond from the Kimberley Mine in South Africa was 287-carats as a rough – the largest yellow diamond ever found at that time – and cut down to 128.54-carats, after Tiffany’s gemologist spent a year studying it to determine the best way to cut it. The diamond was displayed at the Smithsonian and worn by Audrey Hepburn to promote the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s – one of only two people who have ever been known to wear the Tiffany Yellow. The famous yellow diamond has been set 4 times – in 2012, it was set in a platinum necklace and embarked on a world museum tour before returning home to the Tiffany & Co New York store.

Image courtesy of http://www.1000thingsnyc.com/tiffany/

It’s not the first time (nor the last) that Tiffany was to create an icon. In 1877, Tiffany designed an insignia to put on a police medal of honor. In 1909 the New York Yankees made the design famous by using it as their logo.

The Tiffany Setting: Redefining Diamond Rings

In 1886, Tiffany revolutionized the engagement ring by creating what is known as the Tiffany® Setting. Previously stones were set in a bezel setting. Tiffany lifted the stone off the band to highlight the brilliant-cut diamond. To this day, the Tiffany® Setting is one of the most popular engagement ring styles.

Tiffany’s – The Symbol of American Luxury

Tiffany’s has become a fixture in popular culture as one of America’s most iconic luxury brands. It is renowned for its highly recognizable gift boxes, and its duck egg blue brand color,  which even has its own proprietary Pantone color chart number – 1837 – a nod to the company’s founding year.

The 1961 Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, based on the 1958 Truman Capote novella, is a timeless ode to the Tiffany brand, and continues to strengthen Tiffany’s iconic brand status to this day. It was produced as a Broadway musical in 1966 and again in 2013. It was revived for a new generation with the 1995 hit single “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

 

Charles Tiffany passed away in 1902. During his lifetime he created a legacy that changed the way we look at diamonds, jewelry, and indeed, the concept of luxury. After his father’s passing, Louis Comfort became the first official Design Director of the company. The brilliant designs of Charles and Louis created a company with worldwide recognition.

 

Subscribe to the Diamond Blog

Get the latest technology, grading and retail news straight from the source, straight to your inbox.


MORE FROM THE DIAMOND BLOG

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 6: Chopard

Once Upon a Time in Switzerland… Our tale begins in the village of Sonvilier, Switzerland where we find Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the second son of Félicien and Henriette Chopard. Félicien was a farmer but he encouraged his sons to enter the watchmaking trade. Louis Chopard had a talent for the craft and quickly built a reputation […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 5: Graff

Born to be a Jeweler: The Meteoric Rise of Laurence Graff When 15-year-old Laurence Graff began his first apprenticeship in a jewelry manufacturing warehouse in London, he never dreamed he’d be honored with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth in 2013. In fact, after three months working in the warehouse and […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 4: Boucheron

The Jeweler of Place Vendôme: How Frédéric Boucheron Got His Start Frédéric Boucheron always knew he wanted to be a jeweler. He was born in 1830 to a family of French clothiers, and at a young age he apprenticed himself under jeweler Jules Chaise. By the age of 14, he had completed his apprenticeship and […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 3: Faberge

The Man Who Created The Egg In 1885,   Tsar Alexander III commissioned Faberge to create an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna. With this simple gift, the Faberge Imperial Egg Collection was born. The first egg was called the Hen Egg. Inside a white enameled shell rested a solid gold […]

World Famous Jewelers: The Names Behind the Designs.

Part One: Harry Winston Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Harry Winston – all famous jewelers and household names. We see their designs on the red carpet, along with Boucheron, Fabergé, Piaget, and many more. These companies are more than just brand names; they were the passion and brainchild of people who loved high quality, stylish jewelry, […]

Advanced 3D Modeling: A New Edge in Rough Planning

The first step in automated planning of rough diamonds is accurate 3D modelling of the rough diamond surface. Rough diamonds have a complex texture that includes convex and concave surfaces, and are difficult to model accurately. Current technologies for modeling the rough diamond surface are limited in terms of accuracy. They do not necessarily pick […]

Rough diamond planning

Cloud Planning: Make Your Rough Planning Up to 10 Times Faster

Planning rough diamonds with Advisor™ software is a complex process that uses loads of computer processing power. Today, with Galaxy™ inclusion mapping technology, the number of rough polishing plans created by Advisor is essentially infinite. With various advanced options to choose from, such as triple planning, Best Value™, CAP and more, the rough planning software […]

Tension Viewer: Reducing the Risks of Rough Diamond Sawing

In addition to all types of inclusions and flaws, rough diamonds have internal tension or stress that occurs naturally as part of their structure. Developed over millions of years during the diamond’s unique formation process, the level and location of tension within a rough diamond varies from stone to stone. When cutting a rough diamond […]

New Software Release: Sarine Advisor™ 7.0 Rough Planning

Advisor™ rough planning software is used by manufacturers worldwide to effectively plan polished diamonds and maximize the achievable yield. Sarine recently released the latest version of the industry-leading software, Advisor 7.0. The release is packed with dozens of new, advanced features, the result of user feedback received from diamond planners working with Advisor all over […]

Advisor 6.0 New Feature: Scoop Planning

Advisor™ is Sarine’s flagship rough planning software product, and the most widely used program of its type. Since its initial development and launch in 1995, the Advisor program, together with the Galaxy™ inclusion mapping system, has become a staple software for diamond manufacturers worldwide. We’re launching the first product post of the Diamond Tech blog […]