An icon of American history and culture, “Tiffany & Co.” is perhaps the most notable and revered of the famed antique jewelers. Easily identified by their signature “Tiffany Blue” branding, their quintessential engagement ring setting, and their pioneering in the luxury space, Tiffany & Co. is seemingly as esteemed as diamonds themselves!
Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in 1837, renowned diamond boutique Tiffany & Co. actually began as a fancy goods emporium, selling mainly stationery items like stained glass sculptures —along with their signature jewelry. Founder Charles Lewis took sole control of the eponymously-named emporium in 1853 and decided to focus solely on jewelry, as he was a jeweler by trade. Tiffany’s branding was far ahead of its time, with their refusal to entertain bargaining in their stores, only accepting cash payments, and the now patented “Tiffany Blue” displayed prominently in products and branding since their inception. Tiffany & Co was even one of the first brands to introduce mail order catalogues as a marketing medium, with the “Tiffany Blue Book” remaining in circulation to this day.
Tiffany & Co. is known as “New York City’s Jeweler”. Opening their inaugural New York City boutique in 1905, Tiffany & Co have been at the center of the city’s history, geography and culture during its rise as a world center. In 1887, the brand The “Tiffany Cross” US Military Medal of Honor was commissioned by Tiffany in 1919 for combat roles. Tiffany & Co was the subject of the 1958 Truman Capote book and 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, the massively famous story of Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly. Today, the Tiffany brand and its iconic branding radiates from street corners around the planet, though the brand and it’s heritage remains invariably tied to New York City.
Tiffany & Co. was the first major jeweler to massively incorporate Sterling Silver into their jewelry, as founder Charles introduced the English standard of sterling silver jewelry to the United States in 1851. Tiffany & Co is known for supplying the White House China, the trophies awarded to champions in the NFL and NBA, and more recently, fragrances. However, Tiffany & Co’s heritage will always lie in their jewelry craftsmanship. The “Tiffany Yellow Diamond”, a 128.54 Carat Fancy Yellow Diamond, the biggest fancy-colored rough diamond ever discovered at the time, was purchased by the company in 1878. It has remained unsold over the near century and a half that Tiffany & Co has owned the stone, which proved to their market that stones go up in value and are a practical investment. The story of this diamond solidified Tiffany as a destination for rare and exceptional gemstones, and helped them loan out fine jewelry to celebrities during red carpet events, of which Tiffany is often the most notable brand.
A cultural darling, Tiffany & Co. have grown into one of the largest jewelry brands in the world. Through their creative marketing, their focus on diamonds, and their position as a New York City monument, Tiffany & Co. grew into the ubiquitous brand we all know and love.