Tiffany & Co. better known as Tiffany or Tiffany’s is an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer headquartered in New York City.
Founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in Brooklyn, as a “stationery and fancy goods emporium”, the store initially sold a wide variety of stationery items, and operated as “Tiffany, Young and Ellis” at 259 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.
The store originally sold stationery supplies and fancy goods, including costume jewelry.
The first three days of sales totaled $4.98, but after that rocky start, the business soon took off.
By 1839, Tiffany added glassware, cutlery, porcelain, and clocks to the company’s line of products.
The company’s trademark shade of robin’s egg blue was also established during the early years of the company and appeared on all company catalogues, shopping bags, boxes, and promotional materials.
The first Tiffany mail order catalog, known as the “Blue Book,” was published in 1845 in the United States (US), and publishing of the catalog continues in the 21st century.
The name was shortened from Tiffany, Young and Ellis to Tiffany & Company in 1853, when Tiffany’s partners, Young and Ellis, retired and Charles Tiffany took control and established the firm’s emphasis on jewelry.
In support of the Union forces during the ensuing Civil War, Tiffany manufactured patriotic items, including flags, medals, surgical implements, and swords, and he allowed his store to serve as a depot for military supplies.
After the war, the company, which was incorporated in 1868, opened a London store that year.
Charles Tiffany continued to enhance his company’s reputation by acquiring the 128.54 carat fancy yellow Tiffany Diamond in 1878, one of the largest diamonds of its kind in the world.
The company became even more famous in the early 20th century under the artistic direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany [Photo below] the son of the founder Charles Lewis Tiffany.
In 1902, Louis Comfort Tiffany became the first Design Director for Tiffany & Co.
Louis Comfort Tiffany worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He was a leading proponent of art nouveau in America, taking themes from nature (emphasizing American flowers as well as animal and insect life) and rendering them in jewelry and glass.
Louis Tiffany’s hand-blown Favrile glass vases and bowls, his stained glass mosaics and lamps, his exuberant use of color combinations and innovative techniques were heralded in his day. Due to the growing trend of modernism, however, interest waned in Louis Tiffany’s style and by his death in 1933, Tiffany & Co. had entered a period of stalled artistic innovation.
In 1940 the company moved its New York headquarters to its own building, designed by Cross & Cross, on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, where it exists today.
Tiffany’s so-called second Golden Age commenced under the management of Walter Hoving in 1955. He hired Jean Schlumberger, whose imaginative designs uniquely combined gems in highly detailed designs.
Over the years, Tiffany & Co. has introduced the world to a marvelous selection of previously unknown colored gemstones. Among these natural treasures are kunzite, morganite, tsavorite, and tanzanite, named in the honor of illustrious people in Tiffany’s history or the stones’ countries of origin.
Tiffany unveiled tanzanite [Photo below] in 1968, a mere year after its discovery, and named the gem after Tanzania, its birthplace and the only known source. The company promoted tanzanite with advertisements that lamented that tanzanite could only be found in two places in the world: “in Tanzania and Tiffany’s.”
Today, Tiffany & Co.’s main product lines are fine jewelry, timepieces, sterling silver goods, crystal, china, writing instruments, fragrances, and personal accessories.
Tiffany & Co. operates a total 320 stores around the world.
Tiffany & Co. has revenue of $4 billion per year.
Tiffany is arguably the world’s most iconic jewelry brand.
Tiffany glass refers to the many and varied types of glass developed and produced from 1878 to 1933 at the Tiffany Studios in New York, by Louis Comfort Tiffany and a team of other designers, including Frederick Wilson and Clara Driscoll.
The 4-meter (13-foot) clock in front of the Grand Central façade facing 42nd Street contains the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass.
Tiffany & Co is the maker of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, made for the winner of the NFL team that wins the Super Bowl that year.
Since 1977, Tiffany & Co. manufactures Larry O’ Brien Trophy, the trophy that is given to the winner of the NBA Finals.
Tiffany & Co made the 2010 and 2012 World Series rings for the San Francisco Giants.