Tiffany’s Brilliant History and Milestones Through the Years

tiffany signIn its nearly 200-year history, Tiffany & Co. has grown to become one of America’s top jewelers with a global reputation for elegance and allure. Join us for a quick walk down memory lane as we share the brilliant history of Tiffany & Co, the beloved jewelry brand with an inspiring story to tell.


History of Tiffany Himself

The history of this iconic jewelry brand dates back to 1837. With a generous $1,000 contribution from Charles Lewis Tiffany’s father, the 25-year-old Tiffany and his friend J.B. Young opened a stationery and fancy goods store called “Tiffany & Young” in New York. Success was swift and expected. In 1841, J.L. Ellis became a partner, prompting the trio to rename their emporium “Tiffany, Young & Ellis.”

In the 1940s, Charles Lewis Tiffany introduced Tiffany Blue® as the brand’s signature color – a combination of bright green and a hint of blue.


Tiffany Takes Over the Company

Charles Lewis Tiffany took sole control of the company in 1853, renaming it “Tiffany & Co.”


Winning the Grand Prize for Silver Craftsmanship

As the first American company to adopt the British silver standard of using only metal that was 92 percent pure, Tiffany received worldwide recognition when it won the grand prize for silver craftsmanship during the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris, France.


Introducing the Tiffany Diamond

It was not until 1878 that the link between the world’s finest diamonds and Tiffany made it into history books. During this time, the jeweler acquired a breathtaking 287.42ct rough yellow diamond from the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa.

Cut into a 128.54ct polished gemstone with 82 facets to truly highlight its fire and sparkle, the diamond was set into a necklace, which Audrey Hepburn wore in the publicity photographs for Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. Named the Tiffany Diamond, the canary-colored beauty cemented the jewelry brand’s reputation as the ultimate destination for diamonds. Today, Tiffany’s flagship store in New York continues to be the residence of the famous yellow diamond.


The King of Diamonds

In 1887, Charles Lewis Tiffany once again hit the headlines when he purchased one-third of the French Crown Jewels, earning himself the nickname “King of Diamonds.”


Charles Lewis Tiffany’s Death and Legacy

When Tiffany passed away in 1902, his son and successor, Louis Comfort Tiffany, became the company’s first official director of design. The Art Nouveau movement was gaining traction and Louis’ unique, nature-inspired creations – which featured materials such as gems, enamels, and glass – situated him and his creative genius at the movement’s forefront.


Tiffany Unveils Kunzite, Morganite, and More

Throughout its long and impressive history, Tiffany & Co. has not only left millions around the world in awe with its brilliant diamonds and jewelry, but the top jewelry brand also educated us on previously unknown gemstones.

In 1902, Tiffany introduced kunzite. The stone is named after George Kunz, the gemologist who discovered the pink-purple gemstone in California.

In 1910, Tiffany unearthed morganite in Madagascar and named it after banking tycoon John Pierpont Morgan, one of Tiffany’s most loyal customers in the late 1800s and early 1990s. The groundbreaking discoveries continued with tanzanite in 1967 and tsavorite in 1974. Even today, Tiffany’s gemologists continue to scour the globe to source the most glorious gemstones.


The Legacy® Collection

In celebration of Tiffany’s 175th anniversary in 2012, the brand released the Legacy® Collection, which featured either or both diamonds and colored gemstones. Some of the most eye-catching pieces from the coveted collection were a one-of-a-kind necklace set with a 175.72ct morganite and a stunning blue tanzanite ring with a diamond open-work design.


The Tiffany® Setting

Since 1886, Tiffany & Co. has been synonymous with love, commitment, and proposals when it introduced the popular Tiffany setting. Until then, jewelers set diamond rings in bezels. Tiffany’s six-prong setting raised the diamond off the band to maximize its fire and radiance. Not only did this setting revolutionize the engagement ring market, but it also turned Tiffany & Co. into one of the world’s leading destinations for couples embarking on married life.


The Tiffany Blue Box

For anyone anticipating a proposal, a mere glimpse of a Tiffany Blue box is enough to make them weak in the knees and say “yes!” without hesitation. Many loyal consumers also collect and purchase these boxes from other customers. For the box alone to sell, there is no doubt that Tiffany & Co. is one of the best engagement ring brands in America and the world.


Rubedo® Metal Jewelry

Even today, Tiffany & Co. remains at the forefront of innovation–a fact the brand proved with the unveiling of their controversial yet sought-after Rubedo®. This unique metal alloy coincides with Tiffany’s 175th anniversary. Its blush-gold tone mimics the beautiful glow of dawn across the sky. The metal consists of trace silver and zinc, 55 percent copper, and 31 percent gold.


Collaborations With Visionaries

Through the years, Tiffany has worked with renowned jewelry designers such as Elsa Peretti, Jean Schlumberger, and Paloma Picasso. In particular, the Elsa Peretti Open Heart necklace has been the present of choice to commemorate milestones such as a graduation or an 18th or 21st birthday. Exuding sophistication and glamor, Schlumberger’s exquisite pieces reflect the artist’s creative spirit and adoration for eccentric shapes. As for Tiffany’s Paloma Picasso jewelry, each piece references an unexpected beauty, including street graffitis and olive leaves.

Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Return To Tiffany Heart Tag Bracelet

Tiffany & Co. Today

Tiffany’s has over 300 stores and employs more than 13,000 people across borders. Since 2017, Reed Krakoff has occupied the role of Artistic Director, taking Tiffany & Co. in a refreshing new direction while retaining the brand’s essence. In 2022, Krakoff released the Tiffany T1 collection, which includes a range of 18K rose gold rings and bracelets, as well as designs featuring pavé diamonds set in a honeycomb pattern. The collection pays homage to Tiffany’s rich history by reinterpreting its prominent “T” motif.

Tiffany & Co. has also been harnessing the power of celebrity marketing, having chosen Hailey Bieber and Beyoncé to endorse some of the house’s most recent collections.


Still Shining in 2022 and Beyond 9 Most Beloved Tiffany and Co Jewelry Collections

Gaining international recognition for over a century of breathtaking gemstones, outstanding designs, and exceptional craftsmanship, undoubtedly, Charles Lewis Tiffany and his successors’ legacy will live on for generations to come.


Sell Your Tiffany Jewelry in Scottsdale-Chandler, AZ

Biltmore Loan and Jewelry can help you realize the value of your Tiffany pieces. To start, submit clear photos and provide any additional information about your jewelry here. Trust us to handle the particulars and make the process of selling pre-owned Tiffany & Co. jewelry fast, profitable, and meaningful.