For many in the U.S., the word “Tiffany” has been synonymous with desirable jewelry for generations.
Long a favorite among New Yorkers, the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue became a destination on par with Rockefeller Center in 1961 with the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
In the opening scene, Audrey Hepburn, wearing an evening gown with several strands of chunky pearls draped down her back, stares into the jewel-box windows built into the store’s granite walls. Her character, Holly Golightly, based on a 1958 novella by Truman Capote, turns to Tiffany's whenever she felt anxious. It’s “the quietness and the proud look of it,” she says. “Nothing very bad could happen to you there.”
This movie became an iconic classic for both Hepburn and Tiffany & Co. as a brand.
The company was founded in 1837, when Charles Lewis Tiffany and John P. Young opened a “fancy goods” store on Broadway, adding jewelry and silver soon after. In 1853, Tiffany took over and the newly-dubbed Tiffany & Co. showcased its jewels, to rave reviews, at the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York, the first world’s fair held in the U.S. “Surpasses anything of the kind ever seen before in this country,” wrote one columnist.
From the beginning, Tiffany & Co. goods embodied three distinct characteristics, according to Tiffany & Co. archivist Annamarie V. Sandecki: “inspiration from either nature or the art of other cultures, innovative technique, and a reliance on unusual gemstones and metals.”
Influenced by his own fascination with various foreign cultures, Tiffany’s first chief designer, Edward C. Moore set the design standard for the firm, touring silver-making workshops throughout Europe and pulling motifs from Islamic, Hindu, Persian, Japanese, Native American, and Celtic art. Moore left his mark most on tableware, such as this hammered silver pitcher with copper leaves, gold vines and mokume gourds in the “Japanesque” style, c. 1878, which sold for $50,000 at Sotheby’s New York in January 2013. Moore also became known for refining the firm’s use of enameling on metals, something that would become a signature of Tiffany jewels.
Encouraged by Moore, George Paulding Farnham became Tiffany’s first celebrity designer, establishing the firm’s signature floral designs with his enameled orchids, such as this one from 1890, with petals enameled in yellow and orange enamel, accented with rose-cut diamonds, which sold at Sotheby’s New York for $173,000 in December 2013.
The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris allowed Farnham to create his iconic brooches. In this exposition he made 24 life size orchids with pearls, silver, gold and precious gemstones. This collection received a gold medal in the jewelry division at the exposition. His work is still consideredone of the most stunning feautres of the exposition as a whole.
A defining aspect of Tiffany jewelry by the turn of the 20th century was its unique gemstones. Under the direction of chief gemologist George Frederick Kunz, who traveled the world in search of unusual gems to design jewelry around, Tiffany moved beyond conventional diamonds, pearls and carved agate cameos, and began to incorporate Australian opal, aquamarine, an unusual colored stones – increasingly, gems mined Stateside, such as oblong pearls from the Mississippi River and Montana sapphires.
Although he started his work with minerals for scientific reasons, his work with Tiffany and rare stones had a tremendous influence on his work as a jewelry designer.
Daughter of Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot, Paloma Picasso brings a bold Italian-style sense of color to Tiffany’s contemporary collections. She likes to combine shapes and colors such as pink tourmaline, citrine, amethyst, and aquamarine, usually mounted in gold.
Paloma was born in France and became a well known French fashion designer and business woman. She began as a fashion designer. Later Paloma developed a frangance line for L'Oreal called Paloma. This caused Polama to develop a cosmetics and bath line including soap, shower gel, and body lotion.
In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Tiffany began to expand its reach to more affordable, fashion-forward jewelry. Central among its contemporary designers, Elsa Peretti specializes in sleek, modern forms crafted in sterling silver. Her Bone cuffs looked just right with a simple, form-fitting Halston frock in the 1970s and continue to sell well today.
Else originally moved to New York to pursue modeling. However, she began to create jewelry for many fashion designers.
By the time Elsa Peretti became an independent designer for Tiffany, she had already received the 1971 Coty Award. This partnership between Peretti and Tiffany Co lasted for over 20 years.
Today, Tiffany sends their jewelry to London to be Hallmarked, or trademarked. The name "Tiffany" is etched into the silver to prove the authenticity. It is very significant that your Tiffany item has this sketched on the jewel, if you wish to resell the item for a notable price.
Jewelry collectors will buy real Tiffany peices for competitive prices. However, before selling valuables, it is crucial to be aware of the buyer's policies. Look for reputable companies like Luriya. At Luriya, our appraisers have over twenty years buying brand name jewelry such as Tiffany. Make an appointment to have your valuabes appraised, today.
Jewelry produced by Tiffany is fairly easy to identify by its marks. Since the U.S. doesn’t have an assay system, the firm sends all its jewelry to London to be inspected and stamped by the British assay office. Though its jewelry and tableware date to the mid-19th century, Tiffany goods are fairly easy to identify, mainly because it’s one of the only U.S-based jewelry houses that produces hallmarked pieces.
Additionally, an iconic trademark of Tiffany is marked by the Tiffany Blue box. This type of blue has been totally taken over by the company and even named Tiffany Blue. An authnetic Tiffany item would come in it's iconic Blue box.
New York City has been the home of many internationally recognized brands. One of those brands in Tiffany & Company. It's headquarters are based in New York City, on the famous 5th Avenue.
Naturally, it would seem obvious that New York would be the best place to sell your Jewelry pieces. In the Manhattan Diamond District you have many options to sell your Tiffany items for a reasonable price. Go to a trusted jewelry buyer like Luriya.
To sell Tiffany jewelry in NYC and all across the United States, in 1845 Tiffany & Co. began publishing a mail order catalog called the “Blue Book.” Continuing to this day, this catalogue not only features luxury gifts, but some of the most beautiful and rarest jewels. Jewelry connoisseurs from around the world anticipate this one-of-a-kind catalogue, hopeful to get their hands on some of Tiffany’s treasures early. Now, you can access the Blue Book online as well as getting one in the mail. The catalog even allows for purchases online for convenience in the modern world. Consider taking a look at this year’s catalog – maybe you’ll be inspired.
Vintage Tiffany jewelry can sometimes be worth more than when it was originally purchased, however, it is not always a sure bet. Diamonds do not always go up in value and styles come and go. Much like a car, once a diamond is purchased, it loses some of its value. However, many vintage Tiffany & Co. pieces are timeless, and if you’re interested in selling a Tiffany bracelet or another piece, you should make sure to call to schedule an appraisal. You may be surprised at how selling at Tiffany bracelet you never wear could net you a tidy sum!
Unfortunately, not every engagement goes as planned. If you’re interested in selling a Tiffany engagement ring, we understand that you may not have the original Tiffany Blue Box and paperwork. However, you can always contact Tiffany & Co. to get your paperwork, as long as you were the original purchaser. This information can be invaluable to getting your appraisal. Once you have your appraisal done, you can sell your Tiffany jewelry online or to a store like Luriya with confidence. It is important to remember that Tiffany will not repurchase any items they have sold, so it is not possible to simply return the ring.
If you’re planning to sell old Tiffany jewelry, you probably know the first step is an appraisal. But before you get your jewelry appraised, you may want to take a look at the state your jewelry is in. For example, if you want to sell a Tiffany necklace, you need to find your Tiffany Blue box and any credential paperwork that goes with it. These may just seem like extras, but they really can make the appraisal process a lot easier. You may also want to get your jewelry cleaned before you sell your jewelry. While this is unlikely to affect your appraisal, dingy jewelry is less likely to be picked up by a purchaser. You want your piece to look exactly as enticing as when it was first purchased. Also remember that any damage to the jewelry will decrease its value. Always take good care of your jewelry, especially if you’re planning on reselling it at some point in the future.
While it’s common knowledge that Tiffany & Co. makes many trophies, such as the Super Bowl’s Vince Lombardi trophy and the NBA Finals’ Larry O’Brien Trophy, not everyone knows that the company also designed a medal for the Navy. The “Tiffany Cross” as it became known as, was an incredibly rare medal. Initially, it was awarded for combat heroism, but then in 1942, it was changed to non-combat heroism. Later that year, unfortunately, it was eliminated entirely. Tiffany & Co. has also been incredibly lucky to purvey to some of the most elite clientele, as well as making awards. They were once involved with the Russian Royal Family and have done commissions for the White House on many occasions.
“My favorite part about Luriya is honestly the e-books. They’re so informative and helpful when deciding where to sell gold. From detailing how gold is measured, to explaining the differences in karats, they do a great job explaining the process to customers.”
“When you go to sell jewelry, Luriya has the best payout offers in NYC. The jewelers know their stuff, no matter what you’re trying to sell.”
“For anyone looking to sell diamonds, Luriya is the place to go. They pay well, instruct you about their prices, and let you take your time to make a decision on a deal. Will be back.”