History of Tiffany and Co.

history of tiffany
People walk by Tiffany & Co. store in Via dei Condotti in Rome (Photo credit: futureGalore / Shutterstock.com)

Tiffany & Co. is one of the most adored names in women’s jewellery, famous for its exquisitely created diamond and sterling silver jewellery. The timeless beauty of each piece crafted dazzles the world even today. The first thought to cross our minds at the mention of the word ‘Tiffany’ is the breathtakingly beautiful jewellery portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Charles Tiffany built the World of Tiffany with a vision of spectacular beauty and dedication to quality and craftsmanship. Tiffany and Co. have made an everlasting imprint on the world of glamour and luxury, enticing royalty and celebrities alike. The company has evolved through several iconic milestones, making it one of the most desired brands to own today.

Here is a glimpse at the revolutionary milestones of this classic brand, and how it came to life.

Year 1837

History of Tiffany
Tiffany & Co. Novo Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring Size 45

Tiffany and Co. was established by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young; the house initially functioned as a stationery and decorative goods store under the name ‘Tiffany, Young, and Ellis’. This American luxury jewellery and speciality retailer started to become popular in the year 1837.  It was in 1853 that Charles Tiffany took charge of the company, naming it Tiffany & Co.

The exclusive Tiffany Blue Box was mandated by Charles Tiffany that accompanied the purchase of a Tiffany piece. This Blue Box, wrapped with a white ribbon, has become a symbol of elegance.

1840s–1880s

The Blue Book, Tiffany’s first mail-order catalogue, was first published in the year 1845 and is a continued annual tradition till date. The book features the world’s most magnificent and rare pieces of couture jewellery.

In 1851, the American company became the first to embrace the 925/1000 Sterling Silver standard, which later was adopted by the

United States. Tiffany received international appreciation upon winning the first prize for silver craftsmanship at the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris. Yet, it was only in 1878 that Tiffany & Co. was recognised as the house of world’s finest jewellery, owed to its creation of the ‘Tiffany Diamond’. This title was further bolstered in 1887 when Charles bought one-third of the French Crown Jewels. The popularity of the company gained momentum with each innovative piece designed. The engagement ring as we know today was first crafted by Tiffany in 1886, introducing the ‘Tiffany setting’ to the world. The Tiffany & Co. rings today have become synonymous with true love and proposals.

1900s

In 1902, the company unveiled ‘Kunzite’, a rare and exquisite gemstone named after the renowned gemologist George Kunz.

The same year, Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Charles Tiffany who had followed his father’s footsteps, was titled the first formal design director of the company. His bright and striking designs continued the flow of the company’s success and popularity. He was considered a world leader of the Art Nouveau Movement.

history of tiffany
Tiffany & Co. Vintage Loving Heart Silver Necklace

The year 1974 saw a  revolution in the world of jewellery design when Elsa Peretti joined Tiffany & Co. Sensual and organic, her pieces mesmerised the world and gave meaning to modern jewellery design.

2010s

In honour of its 175th anniversary in 2012, Tiffany & Co. unveiled RUBEDO, a unique alloy with blush tones, making it the front-runner in innovation. It features the Tiffany 1837 as laurels to its inception.

history of tiffany
Earnings from the collection of Paloma Picasso for Tiffany (Photo credit: Iuliia Chugai / Shutterstock.com)

Through history, the company has designed timeless pieces with legendary designers, including Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti, and Paloma Picasso. The Tiffany & Co. heart necklace by Peretti was considered the ideal gift for over 40 years to mark the special 18th and 20th birthdays and graduations. The women’s chains and the Tiffany & Co. pendants enthral women from all over the world. The alluring creations are adored even by the most glamorous women. In 1961, Audrey Hepburn flaunted the ‘Tiffany Diamond’ set in the Ribbon Rosette necklace.

From elegant and sophisticated necklaces to whimsical designs of brooches and charms, the company crafts it all for the world to be enthralled. Get your hands on your own little piece of forever!

Swati Talwar

Global Content and India Office Head

Seasoned lover of the written word. Travel junkie and Hogwarts alumni. Currently composing notes for the upcoming fashion week. You can also call me Licorne Magique (don't ask me why!).

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