Beyond the Sparkle: What Makes Tiffany Jewelry so Desirable?
Tiffany & Company is synonymous with premium jewelry. But there’s more to this brand than its impeccably cut gems and groundbreaking designs. From humble beginnings to pioneering discoveries, the Tiffany story scintillates at every turn.
Tiffany jewelry: a cut above for 170 years
Founded in 1837, the then named “Tiffany, Young and Ellis” company immediately recognized the value of confidence and grace—two characteristics that still define the brand today. The first Tiffany jewelry shop, simply described as a “stationery and fancy goods” store, opened at 259 Broadway in New York City. In this seminal location the store workers were ordered to display the prices for each individual piece of Tiffany jewelry—a move that went against the jewelry industry grain.
Making a point of the price tag was a preemptive way of hindering haggling from customers. On top of this, the shop did not allow its customers to pay on credit. Aside from the convenience for the shop workers and accountants, these two quirks of the first Tiffany jewelry shop quickly helped the establishment stand out from the crowd. As such, Tiffany jewelry instantly became a commodity that couldn’t be haggled for—its true value was clear for all to see.
In 1853 co-founder Charles Tiffany assumed control of the firm and changed the name to the iconic three words known today: Tiffany & Company. From this moment on it was evident that Tiffany had other ideas for his fledgling jewelry business. His vision, passion, and drive saw Tiffany & Company carve out a unique presence in the zeitgeist of 19th century America. This wasn’t just another jewelers; this was Tiffany, a veritable arbiter of taste and style, and the founder was determined to make it known through distinguished, symbolic acts that still resonate today.
Tiffany & Company: a genuine American institution
In the 1880s, Tiffany redesigned the Great Seal of the United States, a remarkable effort which can still be seen on every dollar bill in circulation. In decades previous, Tiffany’s master craftsmen forged robust, powerful swords (the Model 1840 Cavalry Saber) for American soldiers in the US-Mexican war, and for Union soldiers in the Civil War. Tiffany & Company was then given the honor of creating a number of stunning ceremonial sabers for the victorious Union Generals Sherman and Grant, among others.
As the Tiffany & Company design repertoire grew, so too did its reputation—all the way to the esteemed walls of the White House. Throughout its existence many US presidents have relied on Tiffany & Company to produce the official White House china, gifts for foreign dignitaries, or beautiful bespoke Tiffany jewelry for the First Lady.
From steely weapons of war to ornate china gifts of the highest order, Tiffany & Company is brilliant proof that true design and craft know no boundaries. Nonetheless, jewelry is where Tiffany & Company still, and always will, reign king.
One man’s passion set in precious stone for eternity—Tiffany jewelry
Charles Tiffany displayed a rare, burning passion for jewelry. Under his direction Tiffany & Company transformed into an institution that is embedded into the fiber of America. Indeed, almost a century before Marilyn Monroe sang about Tiffany jewelry in “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” or Audrey Hepburn starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the establishment was forging a reputation as a pioneer in the world of precious stones and jewelry design.
In 1851, Tiffany & Company became the first US company to institute the 925/1000 sterling silver standard, which was later officially adopted by the United States. This precious metal is used to create Tiffany’s hollowware, and still glistens in Tiffany’s sophisticated jewelry designs today. 1868 heralded another groundbreaking first—for both Tiffany & Company and for the US. The firm became the first from America to receive an award at the Exposition Universelle in Paris: the gold medal for its avant-garde Tiffany jewelry, and a grand prize for its stunning Japanesque silver.
With such an esteemed heritage, it’s no wonder that the world’s leading designers and jewelers have—and still do—collaborate with Tiffany & Company to consistently produce the brand’s trademark pieces. Some of Tiffany’s greatest designers and their works include:
- Art Nouveau grapevine necklace by Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1906
- Jean Schlumberger’s naturalistic shell clip, inspired by his 1948 design
- The Elsa Perwetti Amapola Brooch, 1988
- The Tiffany 1837 range, a commemorative selection of majestic pieces featuring the patented Tiffany RUBEDO metal in a limited edition collection of designs bearing the signature of Charles Tiffany
Show up in style and good taste with Tiffany jewelry
Unlike any other brand, Tiffany jewelry is synonymous with hitting the right tone for any occasion.
Although sure to leave that special someone speechless, the only lasting response to a ring from the inimitable Tiffany range is an emphatic ‘yes.’ Always stunning, never the same, and guaranteed to be as extraordinary as the ladies who wear them, these rings have become an indelible part of marriage culture. And once the knot is tied, there’s a reason to wear it every day, no matter the occasion.
Precious and subtle, earrings from this remarkable jeweler are the perfect way to bring sophistication and class to a low-key event, without stealing the limelight.
Thanks to their understated charm, at Tiffany & Company there’s a sophisticated bracelet suitable for any occasion—from casual meetings with friends to more formal events where a beautiful, low-key accessory fits the dress code.
Accentuate any neckline with a bit of sparkle courtesy of an ornate necklace from the glorious collection at Tiffany’s. Ideal for those special occasions that require an elegant eye-catcher.