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Iconic Tiffany Designs

Tiffany & Co.

With its reputation for the finest quality in jewellery design, the company behind this highly desirable luxury brand was founded on 18th September 1837. With its first store in New York, through the years Tiffany & Co. have produced a wealth of breath-taking pieces, with beautiful and pioneering designs from the likes of Jean Schlumberger and Elsa Peretti. Whilst Tiffany & Co. celebrates its 176th anniversary, we revisit some of their famously iconic creations.

The Tiffany Diamond

In 1878, the legendary Tiffany Diamond was cut by George Frederick Kunz, Tiffany’s gemologist, from a 287 carat yellow diamond, originally found in the Kimberley Mine in South Africa. The Tiffany Diamond consisted of a 128.54 carat cushion brilliant cut stone, which included an additional 32 facets to ensure the stone’s brilliance would be maximised. Following the stone’s completion, Jean Schlumberger was responsible for the design of the stone’s mount. One of finest and largest examples in the world, this famous stone would later feature in the publicity campaign for the film Breakfast at Tiffanys, which starred Audrey Hepburn. During the campaign in 1961, the stone was set in a beautiful rosette necklace design, with ribbons of diamonds completing the Jean Schlumberger design.

Schlumberger was also the creative designer behind the famous “Bird on a Rock” which incorporated the Tiffany Diamond in another striking setting.

The Tiffany Diamond was never intended to be sold, it was a representation of the expertise and opulence of Tiffany, and in 2012, to mark Tiffany’s 175th Anniversary, a beautiful new setting was designed for the Tiffany Diamond to adorn. With the exquisite platinum and diamond necklace boasting over 100 carats, the anniversary piece brought together the traditional and modern in this stunning creation.

The Open Heart by Elsa Peretti

Elsa Peretti’s is the famous Italian designer behind some of the legendary iconic items in Tiffany’s offering. Included in Peretti’s portfolio are The Open Heart, Starfish and Bean designs which have been hugely popular since the mid 1970’s. These simple yet beautiful designs offer a timeless elegance for the wearer. Such is the importance of this designer’s work to the company, earlier this year it was reported that Tiffany struck a deal to continue the licensing agreement with Peretti for a further 20 years, agreeing to pay $47.3million to seal the deal.

The Night of the Iguana Brooch

The clientele of Tiffany & Co. have always included the rich and famous, with very high-profile clients such as Jackie Kennedy - whose favourite Tiffany piece was a berry brooch, bought for her by JFK to celebrate the birth of their son.

Elizabeth Taylor also owned several Tiffany pieces and in December 2011, Christies held an auction entitled The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor - The Legendary Jewels. Included in the auction was a Tiffany & Co. brooch which was originally bought by Richard Burton as a gift for his wife, to be worn at the premier of her husband’s film The Night of the Iguana. The gold brooch (above) was an unusual statement piece encrusted with diamonds, as well as featuring sapphire and emerald detailing. This Jean Schlumberger design went on to fetch £1,202,500 at the auction.

The Majestic Necklace

One of the most expensive items produced by Tiffany & Co was the Tiffany Majestic Necklace, with a price tag of $12,000,000! With over 300 diamonds included in the platinum design, a 30.31 carat diamond completed the breath-taking creation.

Charles Tiffany - The Pioneer

As well as being the producer of the Tiffany Blue Book, the first catalogue of its kind in the US, which detailed to its clients the creations which were on offer, Tiffany also created a desire for its luxury goods which were always beautifully packaged in the iconic little blue box. In 1886, the pioneering “Tiffany Setting” was designed, maximising the beauty of the diamonds featured in rings by positioning them above the band with the use of prongs or claws, as opposed to a bezel setting, displaying the whole of the stone to maximum effect. The popularity of this design grew swiftly, and became the recognised industry term for describing what remains today as the most popular engagement ring setting style.

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