Tiffany & Co. is very close to the definition of “luxury” and “jewelry” today. After all, can you consider buying jewelry without thinking about the brand? Even if you don’t have the money, you most likely think about it.
This luxury brand has been in the market for decades and has been the subject of many headlines over the years. Some goods, others bad. However, you can notice the prominence and influence of the brand by just knowing people are looking out for it.
If you have heard it or even seen a store yet are not that familiar with the brand, there isn’t much to consider.
Do you need jewelry? Maybe a luxurious watch that isn’t from Rolex? Or what about some accessories and even décor? You can be satisfied with it.
In our experience, Tiffany & Co. is definitely not the place where you enter, and try just to be a bit curious to see what they offer. We did it and regretted it (just a bit).
However, with time, we decided to treat ourselves with a piece of jewelry, and no, we aren’t rich, but we could afford a small bracelet. So far, it has been the best investment in jewelry to this date.
But why do we think this? Is it really worth the price we paid for it? What about the brand’s reputation? Should you continue buying there?
We know there are many questions, and in this report, we are happy to help answer all of them (and add some personal experience).
Real Tiffany: Founder & Origins
The brand takes after the surname of its founder and main designer, Charles Lewis Tiffany.
As you can observe before anything else, Tiffany’s (how the company is referred to as well) follows the same tradition of being named after the founders.
If you were expecting a woman for this brand, you were a bit wrong there.
Now, where do we stand with this amazing founder that has made history with his brand? How did he start? Let’s get to it.
Tiffany was born in Killingly, Connecticut, on February 15, 1812, to Comfort Tiffany, who was a cotton goods manufacturer (yes, his name is Comfort), and his mother, Chloe Draper.
The future brand designer was educated at Danielsonville’s school. He then spent two years at Plainfield Academy in Connecticut.
There aren’t many details of his childhood or personal life overall. Thus, we must focus on the business, careers, and influences over the years.
Charles’s father was part of the pioneers in the cotton goods industry who decided to make his son work in one of the stores as a manager to help with the family’s business.
He was only 15 years old when his father placed him in the role, and while working, he had to deal with his studies.
Tiffany managed the store for ten years. After Charles’ father purchased his partner’s share, he joined his father’s business, which was christened C. Tiffany & Son.
Although he was more than happy to work with his father, Tiffany opened “Tiffany & Young” on September 18, 1837, with a thousand dollars borrowed by his father and with the help of his friend, John B.
Tiffany & Young was located at 259 Broadway, New York City. The original purpose of the store was to sell fancy goods and stationery, as well as costume jewelry.
The Panic of 1837 had adverse effects on business conditions at that time, and many thought that the store’s location in the heart of downtown would make it difficult for patronage.
Starting & Growing: Tiffany & Co. Progress
After a slow start, the business quickly grew. Tiffany’s store was a first for its day, offering fixed-priced items, eliminating the need to barter. It also refused credit to customers, which was a problem for many small businesses at the time and how they were losing money.
Tiffany’s product line included glassware, cutlery, and porcelain by 1839.
In 1841, when Tiffany, Young & Ellis was established due to the new partner, J. L. Ellis, Tiffany married his wife, Harriet.
Thanks to Ellis’s funds, the company was able to rent an adjoining room, which doubled its floor space and expanded the company greatly.
After a trip to Europe, Ellis brought considerable experience in European jewelry markets and became the company’s chief international operator.
The company began importing high-quality English and Italian jewelry in 1844, further cementing its well-respected status.
Unfortunately, the brand ended its costume jewelry business in 1844 as well due to increased demand for imported gems and its reputation for high-quality, expensive pieces that escalated thanks to the customers. However, this was the first reason imported gems also increased.
Although the company was not focused on gems at the time, it published its first catalog in 1845. Some speculate that this catalog was the first to be sent by mail.
The company’s signature shade of Robin’s Egg Blue was established in the early years. It appeared on all company brochures, bags, boxes, and promotional materials.
The company began selling silverware in 1847 when Tiffany’s was able to benefit from revolutions in Europe.
The brand was able to take advantage of it and would influence the following decades to acquire historical European jewels from prominent aristocrats.
Its reputation grew significantly after the European acquisitions. Tiffany opened a second store in Paris in 1850 and hired John C. Moore to make silverware exclusively for Tiffany’s.
He also started manufacturing gold jewelry thanks to the California gold strike of 1850. Tiffany was the first U.S. firm to adopt the 925 parts sterling per thousand standards, later becoming the United States Silver Standard.
After the retirement of Tiffany’s partners Young and Ellis, the company went through another reorganization. In 1853, Charles L. Tiffany & Company was established.
A huge statue of Atlas was placed beneath a clock at Tiffany’s new headquarters, 550 Broadway, and you can still see the statue above the Fifth Avenue store entrance.
Tiffany was an expert in the promotion and helped the company grow throughout the 1850s. He managed to get publicity for his company through P. T. Barnum’s help on many occasions.
He once made a special jeweled carriage and horse as a wedding gift to Barnum’s Tom Thumb. In 1858, Tiffany’s sold sections from the first transatlantic cable to souvenirs. This was the most talked-about promotional event.
Then, he and the company were hired in 1861 to design a presentational pitcher at the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln. Later, President Lincoln gifted his wife Mary Todd Lincoln a suite of seed-pearl jewelry from Tiffany’s.
Tiffany’s made patriotic items for the Union forces in the Civil War as well. He also allowed his store to be used as a depot of military supplies.
This brilliant man continued going over the decades and also created jewel-encrusted presentation blades for Sherman and General Grant. The company was also incorporated in 1868 and opened a London branch that year.
Tiffany was named the company’s treasurer and president. At the same time, the company also purchased a building on Fifth Avenue to house its New York operations, and it started making watches and clocks in addition to its jewelry.
The brand gained more than twenty heads of state as a result of its reputation for excellence and quality. Tiffany’s won the Paris Exposition’s gold medal for jewelry in 1867. It also won the grand prize for silverware.
Tiffany was renowned for its innovative jewelry designs. His six-prong solitaire Tiffany diamond engagement ring featured the “Tiffany Setting.” This raised the stone from the setting to allow the most light to shine through the diamond. Tiffany’s son, Louis Tiffany, created a department within Tiffany Art Jewelry in 1902.
As you could have noticed, the brand expanded greatly over the years, and today, it is the epitome of jewelry and luxury in accessories.
But before the funder could see a great improvement thanks to the next managers and responsible of the company, he died from pneumonia on February 18, 1902.
After his father’s passing, Son Louis assumed the role of vice president and artistic chief of Tiffany & Co. He became a renowned jeweler and would also be famous for creating stained glass.
One of the mentions we have to include is that the store was moved to another Venetian-style building at 37th and Fifth Avenue in 1905.
This building became a National Landmark in 1978. The company’s New York headquarters was moved to its own building by Cross & Cross on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. It is still there today.
After Tiffany’s death, the company continued to set the standards in the jewelry business.
As some additional info, Tiffany’s was recently acquired or purchased by the luxury giant and top luxury brand LVMH, which paid $16.2 billion for the deal.
Finally, Charles Lewis Tiffany’s personal fortune was said to be worth what would be $1 billion today. Meanwhile, the company stood strong during his death and was born about $2.5 billion, according to today’s inflation.
Why Tiffany’s Is Unique
If we appeal to history, we will notice Tiffany’s is more than just another jewelry store and retailer. Instead, it is pretty much the pioneer.
The approach to jewelry and design was the main reason why people loved it in the beginning.
You see, it was more than just an extravagant piece full of gems and exquisite elements. Tiffany made sure that each of the pieces was unique and elegant when used and even when not.
In other words, what you know today as jewelry can be considered as part of what Tiffany’s did over all these years.
Of course, we don’t want to say that other jewelers and retailers are unable to create something unique because that is just not true.
However, it is impossible to deny how Tiffany & Co. made every future jeweler look up to the designs and style.
The engagement rings are probably people’s favorite when it comes to the pieces available.
The brand and founder were (and continued to be) focused on having a natural beauty that remains simple yet astonishing. This is exactly what is achieved with engagement rings in particular.
In addition to all the designs, the brand is known for the exceptional and high-quality jewelry they sell. If you are buying an item, it won’t be low quality EVER.
At the time, not many brands focused on the same based on prices and how gems and other goods were quite hard o find.
But with the years, Tiffany’s made it work, and today, well, it is hard not to leave with a least one precious rock.
In fact, the diamond ring of many brides today has been part of the world’s greatest love stories as a specific design is often purchased and made with the same dedication by the brand as with other pieces.
You can bet the individually registered diamonds by this American luxury brand are in more places than you think as well, including the Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Tiffany & Co. Prices: How Much Is This Jewelry?
You will either be hit by the astronomical prices or feel motivated to buy one.
Before starting with the section of prices in specific, you must know there’s always an affordable item in a luxury store or even more than one. However, it also depends on how much you’re willing to spend on that item alone.
In addition to this, you need to remember that Tiffany’s jewelry and items’ prices vary because of the materials and gemstones used.
This is why we will be including the categories like rings, bracelets, and more, but prices will range including gold, silver, turquoise, and just every option for that type of item:
- Necklaces and Pendants: Prices start at $225 for a silver pendant of 11mm and go all the way up to $155,000 for a cobblestone necklace in platinum and with “Tiffany” diamonds and rubies.
- Bracelets: The sterling silver bracelet costs $175, but the most expensive one goes up to $73,000 due to the 18k white gold and diamond used.
- Earrings: Start at $150 and reach the $47,000 mark.
- Rings: Those range between $225 and $100,000, being a ruby ring in platinum and Pavé diamonds the most expensive to this date.
- Brooches: Cheapest one starts at $275, and prices rise to $75,000 top.
- Charms: You can find a $20 clasping link in selling silver, but prices go up till reaching the Tiffany Keys, a key pendant in platinum and large that costs $13,000.
Other collections and items like women’s watches range between $2,400 and $135,000. However, a diamond line starts at $25,000, and you can find some designs for $35,000.
Men’s watches range in the same prices, and other items like home and accessories go from $55 to $300,000+. Leather goods, perfumes, and more can be found in-store as well.
Tiffany’s Popularity: Celebrities Love It
Tiffany & Co. is probably one of the most loved brands of all. Since it offers more than your traditional jewelry and has expanded to other collections, celebrities love purchasing items for their homes or other purposes.
After all, each item is guaranteed to be made with the best materials and by the best hands.
With this in mind, does the brand have ambassadors? You bet!
The most recent additions have been Tracee Ellis Ross and Anya Taylor-Joy. The latter, thanks to her role in “Queen’s Gambit,” has been signing several deals.
In the case of Tiffany’s, it is a very juicy one.
Rosé from BLACKPINK is another global ambassador for the brand, and the popularity of the k-pop star has helped to skyrocket sales in Asian countries so far.
Ambassadors are many, both men and women. However, celebrities who wear Tiffany’s are hundreds.
With Elle Fanning, Olivia Wilde, Anne Hathaway, Jackson Yee, Brad Pitt, and the list just continues, you bet they love using it.
Most recent marketing strategies and ads have included a wide variety of k-pop artists besides Rosé due to their popularity.
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