In our series of Luxury Trendsetters, we look into the companies that revolutionized the luxury asset market and acted as pioneers for an industry that exploded in popularity in the 20th century.
Tiffany & Co. is an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer that has been around for nearly two centuries. The company has become synonymous with luxury, quality, and exceptional design.
The company was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in New York City in 1837. Initially, the company was called "Tiffany, Young, and Ellis" and sold stationary and fancy goods. However, by the 1840s, Tiffany shifted its focus to jewelry, particularly diamond engagement rings, and began to gain recognition for its exceptional craftsmanship and high-quality materials.
In 1853, Charles Tiffany acquired sole ownership of the company and renamed it "Tiffany & Co." He focused on building the company's reputation for luxury and became known for his innovative marketing strategies. Tiffany's famous blue box, which became the symbol of the company, was introduced in 1837 and was a sign of high-quality jewelry and exceptional customer service.Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tiffany & Co. continued to grow and become a major player in the luxury jewelry market. The company introduced new collections, such as the Tiffany Setting, a diamond engagement ring design that has become an icon of American culture.
During World War II, Tiffany & Co. created custom pieces for the military, including the Medal of Honor and various military badges. The company also helped finance the war effort by selling war bonds. In the 1950s and 1960s, Tiffany & Co. continued to expand its offerings to include silverware, home goods, and other luxury items. The company also expanded internationally, opening stores in Europe and Asia. As of 2019, nearly 30% of all revenues have come from international markets.
In 2021, the company was acquired by the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH for $15.8 billion and they still operate today with stores around the world.
Earlier this year, Tiffany & Co. made yet another statement within the luxury asset market. The company just announced they've acquired a final batch of 35 rare pink diamonds from the now-shuttered Argyle Diamond Mine and now holds one of the world's largest supplies of high-quality gems. With valuations that can exceed $1 million/carat, the mine provided some of the world's most sought-after gems prior to its closure in 2020.
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