Want to learn more about Tiffany Diamonds? You have come to the right place! Learn about the history and intrigue of some of the most sought after diamonds in the jewelry world.
A Brief History of Tiffany Diamonds
Tiffany & Co. is world renowned for the quality of their diamonds. Paired with exquisite designs, Tiffany diamonds are coveted pieces of jewelry for every woman’s collection. From famous diamond jewelry pieces, worn by equally famous movie actresses, to pieces meant to be worn everyday, by the modern woman, Tiffany diamonds are for everyone.
Brief History of Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany opened its first store in New York, in 1837. Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young, set up shop together, selling a fine selection of stationary and fancy goods. The business located in lower Manhattan was then called Tiffany, Young and Ellis. In 1853, Charles Lewis Tiffany took full control and changed the focus to jewelry. The name was shortened to Tiffany & Co.
A Glittering Reputation Begins
In 1848, Tiffany became known for its incredible collection of quality diamonds. This began when Charles Lewis Tiffany purchased high-quality diamonds from European aristocrats. Once back in New York, these highly precious gemstones were incorporated into exclusive jewelry designs.
In 1866, Tiffany & Co., set the standard for diamond engagement rings, with the development of the six-prong diamond solitaire. This allows for light to access all points of the diamond, filling it with vivid sparkle.
A Showpiece: The Tiffany Diamond
The story of the legendary Tiffany Diamond begins in a mine, in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1876. Here miners found a fancy yellow diamond weighing in at 287.42 carats. One year later, Charles Lewis Tiffany purchased the stone and arranged for it to be cut in Paris. To capture the most perfect part of the diamond, it was cut down to 128.54 carats. Now, the multi-facetted, cushion cut diamond encapsulated light! The Tiffany Diamond became the showpiece in the company’s flagship store.
In 1955, lucky window shoppers gazed upon the lovely Tiffany Diamond, beaming like a ray of celestial light, in the arms of a golden angel. This was a Christmas display created by Gene Moore, a famed window designer. It was the first and last time the diamond ever appeared in the window at Tiffany & Co.
Setting The Tiffany Diamond
The Tiffany Diamond was finally set into a stunning necklace. It was worn by Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse, whose husband, Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, was an American diplomat and U.S. Minister to both Guatemala, and Columbia. The event was the 1957 Tiffany Ball, in Newport, Rhode Island.
Tiffany’s master jewelry designer Jean Schlumberger, incorporated the stunning diamond into the Ribbon Rosette necklace. The necklace of gold look like interlaced pieces of diamond covered ribbon. Curling into a whimsical flower in the centre, this is where the diamond was set. Audrey Hepburn wore the Ribbon Rosette necklace for promotional photographs for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in 1961.
After Schlumberger’s death, Tiffany had the Yellow Diamond remounted into a Bird on a Rock, one of his famous jewelry designs.
The yellow diamond was again reset for Tiffany’s 175th anniversary. Today, it is the centre of a necklace of diamonds. Lady Gaga wore it to the 91st Academy Awards, in 2019. Singer Beyoncé wore the stunning necklace, in a 2021 campaign for Tiffany & Co. Today, the piece resides in a showcase, on the main floor of the flagship Fifth Avenue store.
A replica of the famous necklace was made by Tiffany, for actress Gal Gadot to wear in the film Death on the Nile, in 2022.
Watch The Journey of a Tiffany Diamond:
FROM ROUGH STONE TO GLITTERING JEWELRY
It starts with the selection of the finest diamonds. Tiffany diamonds are ethically sourced in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Namibia, Russia, and South Africa, straight from the mines, or from a trusted supplier.
These are sent to Tiffany’s diamond headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium. Sorting begins for size, color, clarity, and florescence. Only 0.04% of the gem grade diamonds meet the company’s exacting demands.
Fancy color diamonds are a gift from Mother Nature. Only one in 10,000 diamonds mined is a fancy color. Of these, Tiffany selects only a small segment.
Then, nearly 1500 expert diamond cutters and polishers prepare the gemstones. This takes place in Tiffany showrooms located in Belgium, Botswana, Mauritius, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
The final carat size is less important than the perfect cut. This allows the diamond to sparkle in its true glory. Each diamond is individual and is treated as such. Large great white diamonds that measure over 6 carats are extremely rare. Of course, shoppers will find these at Tiffany & Co., if that is what they are looking for!
Next, the diamonds are sent to New York, for grading and quality control. Finally, the diamonds are set into exquisite designs.
Diamond Engagement Rings
Those proposing to their brides-to-be must first decide on the shape of the diamond they wish to buy. These include:
- Cushion cut
- Emerald Cut
- Heart shaped
- Pear shaped
Materials Used in Tiffany Diamond Engagement Rings
- Fancy yellow diamonds
- Yellow gold
- Rose gold
Tiffany Engagement Ring Designs
You will find singular stones on traditional thin bands, with or without smaller diamonds. Some central diamonds are encircled by a row or two of smaller diamonds. Yellow diamond engagement rings are also available.
The Tiffany Triple Engagement Ring is comprised of all diamonds, or a diamond centered between two sapphires.
Platinum is the metal of choice for Tiffany diamond engagement rings for women, with a few exceptions. The 130-year-old classic Tiffany Setting featuring a round diamond, in the six-prong setting is available in yellow gold, rose gold and platinum. The four-prong Tiffany Harmony Engagement Ring also comes in rose gold or platinum.
The Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Rope Engagement Ring is a golden stunner. Designer Jean Schlumberger crafted the rope inspired band, to split and curve around the finger. The dazzling diamond solitaire is accented with more gold rope.
The Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Two Bees Engagement Ring was designed in a combination of both platinum and gold. In the center rests a brilliant cut, round diamond, surrounded by two bees, a symbol of royalty made entirely of diamonds. The bee is patterned in gold stripes, with legs to match, which attach each to the ring. It’s an expert work of intricate design.
Engagement Rings for Men
The Charles Tiffany Men’s Engagement Ring comes in two settings. The first style is the most traditional. Set flush into the bezel of the ring is a round, brilliant diamond, that sparkles in bold design. The diamonds range from 1.00-1.24 to 3.92 carats and are available in platinum. The Charles Tiffany Men’s Engagement Ring is also available with an emerald cut diamond
Diamonds By the Yard
Elsa Peretti, one of the most successful designers at Tiffany & Co., fashioned the Diamonds by the Yard collection, in the 1970s. In the delicate design, bezel set, round diamonds appear to float. It is available with one diamond pendant, or with multiple diamonds. Price is determined by the metal used, the length of the chain, and number and size of the diamonds. A trendy way to wear these necklaces is to layer various lengths of chains.
Diamonds by the Yard pendants may feature a more traditional claw setting. A variation on bezel set pendants include a tear shape, a heart shape, or a drop with three diamonds. There are also Y-shaped necklaces.
To complete the Diamonds by the Yard look, there are matching bracelets. Earrings include a classic pair of round bezels set stud earrings or longer drop styles.
Rings take on their own character as a singular diamond on a small, flexible chain band. Available at all price points, this ring was designed in silver, yellow gold, rose gold or platinum.
A stand-out beauty in Diamonds by the Yard collection is Peretti’s reinvention of the classic diamond band ring. Five round brilliant diamonds float in a bezel setting. The glittering gemstones are clasped between a top and bottom ring of yellow or rose gold.
A later version of the original Diamonds by the Yard is the Diamonds by the Yard Continuous Necklace. In this Elsa Peretti design the diamonds are set closer together. In between each is a small, singular loop of precious metal.
Contemporary Diamond Designs by Paloma Picasso
Paloma Picasso incorporates diamonds into many of her works. Most notable is the line called Paloma’s Graffiti. This allows those to purchase the line to really wear diamonds in the most contemporary of ways. The words, drawn in the designer’s own hand, are available studded with diamonds. Pieces include:
These are available in necklaces, along with one ring with the word Rock.
Tips for Buying
Tiffany Diamonds are available in Tiffany & Co., stores around the world. For pre-loved pieces, search for online vendors on Etsy and eBay. All diamond jewelry from Tiffany & Co is stamped with the company name.
Diamond jewelry from Tiffany & Co., represents both quality and gorgeous designs. Diamond pieces are a worthy investment and a joy to wear.