< 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

6 Ecommerce Blogs Every Jeweler Should Follow

If you are new to the online retailing scene, then getting your ecommerce jewelry business ahead can involve a lot of dedication, time, and work. Trying to figure out what is best for your ecommerce dream, searching online for the answers, or paying out excessive amounts of cash to professionals may not the ideal path […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #25

Not a month goes by without diamond industry news that involves the new trend of lab grown diamonds. In this month’s SPECTRUM, read an original take on De Beers’ move to lab grown, in an article featured on Quartzy. We’re also going big on the bling with a tweet from CNN about the world’s most […]

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 […]

Which Diamond Shape Are You?

Diamonds come in all sizes – and a wide variety of shapes. Although each diamond is unique, different personality types are drawn to particular diamond shapes. In fact, the diamond shape you choose may be a strong reflection of the type of person you are. Which diamond shape is right for you? Read on to […]

Why (and How) to Use #Hashtags for Your Jewelry Business

By now, you’ve seen thousands of  #hashtags hanging around on social media. They have certainly changed their meaning from the sign we are used to seeing at the beginning of a telephone number. When used correctly, jewelry hashtags can really make a difference to the social media marketing for your diamonds and jewelry business. But […]

Why Do Diamonds Sparkle?

If there is one word that everyone associates with diamonds, it is “sparkle.” The bright, sparkling appearance of diamonds is part of what makes them such a highly sought-after prize. Diamonds have been variously described as “sparkling”, “shining” and “flashing”. A sparkling diamond can be thought of as beautiful, or “bling-y”, yet if the diamond […]

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 […]

Rough Planning and the Retail Diamond Market: A Changing Relationship

Every rough diamond contains a world of possibilities. There are many ways that a rough diamond can be cut and polished to create saleable, profitable diamonds. Over the past few decades, there has been a revolution in the way that rough diamonds are planned, due to the development of optics technologies that provide accurate internal […]

Sarine Loupe™ Launches New Diamond Imaging View Modes

A diamond is laden with emotional and economic significance, yet more than anything else, it is a visual experience. A diamond’s beauty is not just symbolic – it is very real. It is a result of the diamond’s individual 4Cs features, as well as the way it interacts with light – its ‘light performance’. It […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #24

This edition of Spectrum diamond news and trends is a fascinating roundup that takes us deep into the debate about lab grown and mined diamonds, then 750 kilometers beneath the earth to where blue diamonds form. From there we travel into the minds of millennial consumers, with a recent study about their jewelry buying habits. […]