The History Of Tiffany & Co
The History of Tiffany & Co
Since it was founded in 1837 by 25-year-old Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in New York City, Tiffany & Co. has become somewhat of a household name in its 183-year reign.
Widely known as one of the world’s most iconic jewellery brands, Tiffany & Co. began life as a stationery store, operating under the name Tiffany Young and Ellis, but changed to its current name in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control and established the company’s focus on jewellery.
Tiffany & Co. quickly cemented itself as the go-to place for women in search of striking luxury jewellery and became the first American company to take on the British Silver Standard of using metal that was 92% pure, a standard that was later adopted by the U.S government. However, it was in 1867 that the brand achieved international recognition at the Paris World’s fair for their silver craftmanship.
The Tiffany Diamond
11 years later, Tiffany obtained one of the world’s most premium and largest yellow diamonds ever discovered from the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa. The diamond was cut from 287.42 carats to 128.54 carats and is known to have only been worn by three women during its lifetime; Mrs E Sheldon Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball, Audrey Hepburn in the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s photographs and by Lady Gaga at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.
The diamond would soon become known as the Tiffany Diamond, and it’s Tiffany’s knowledge and love of rare diamonds that cemented the company’s reputation as one of the world’s finest jewellery brands.
According to Statista the net sales of Tiffany and Co. worldwide from 2011 to 2019. In 2019, global net sales of Tiffany & Co. amounted to approximately 4.4 billion U.S. dollars.
The Engagement Ring
In 1886 Tiffany & Co. redefined ring design. Previously, diamond rings were set in bezels, but Tiffany sought to highlight exceptionally cut diamonds by lifting the stone off the band to really show off its elegance, with a 6-prong setting. This famous ring was named the Tiffany setting, and to this day is one of the most sought-after designs.
Tiffany isn’t just known for creating stunning jewellery, they also introduced the world to a selection of unknown gemstones in the early 1900s.
Louis Comfort Tiffany
In 1902 at the age of 90, Charles Lewis Tiffany died, and his 54-year-old son Louis Comfort Tiffany took over as the brand’s first art director.
He was a world leader by this time in Art Nouveau and created a remarkable range of Tiffany designs – from stunning leaded glass to colourful enamelled jewels inspired by American plants and flowers.
Louis Comfort Tiffany was renowned for his organic designs, characterised by powerful colours, unusual stones and striking patterns and became an active figure in the progression of modern-day jewellery.
As the 20th century progressed, Tiffany's designs effortlessly captured the spirit of that time – from the elegance of the 1920s through to the modernism of the 1930s and free spirit of the 60s.
The Iconic Blue Box
Throughout the company’s history, many things have changed in the world, but one thing has remained constant and that’s the signature tiffany blue box. It’s considered as one of the most recognisable packaging’s in the world – with the colour, box and ribbon all being trademarked.
Today, Tiffany is still as iconic as when it first started out all those years ago. It’s one of the most sought-after jewellery brands due to its timeless designs and high quality, so it’s no surprise that second-hand Tiffany & Co. rings retain their value more than any other branded jewellery in the world.