Design lovers, Tiffany & Co. aficionados, and anyone with an appreciation for the finer things in life will enjoy this visual tour of the 10 most iconic Tiffany designs. From the legendary Tiffany Diamond to the timeless elegance of the Tiffany Setting®, these pieces have become icons in their own right. Read on to learn more about each one and see why they remain some of Tiffany’s most popular creations.
What is Tiffany & Co. Famous For?
When you think of iconic jewelry brands, Tiffany & Co. is likely one of the first that comes to mind. From its early days as a stationery and fancy goods store, to its current status as one of the world’s premier jewelry brands, Tiffany & Co. has always been known for its attention to detail and commitment to excellence. The flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue in New York City is a magnet for jewelry lovers.
The brand has a long and storied history that is closely intertwined with American culture. Founder Charles Lewis Tiffany opened a luxury stationery business with John B. Young in 1837 that was named Tiffany and Young. He later bought out Young and renamed the store Tiffany & Co.
Charles’ son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, was an acclaimed artist and designer linked to the Aesthetic and Art Nouveau movements. His highly stylized designs for Tiffany Studios were characterized by their use of organic forms, inspired by the natural world.
You can see several fine examples of his stained glass windows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Upon the death of Charles in 1902, Louis became the first design director of Tiffany & Co.
In addition to fine jewelry, Tiffany & Co. is also well-known for its sterling silver designs. In fact, Tiffany jewelry set the American standard for sterling silver, 9.25 parts per 1,000 parts silver. The brand continues to be one of the leaders in silver design today, employing a large group of silversmiths at its hollowware workshop.
Tiffany & Co. Blue Book
One of the things Tiffany & Co. is most well known for is its “Blue Book,” an annual catalog of the brand’s most exquisite and expensive creations. First published in 1845, the Blue Book has become a collector’s item in its own right, with each year’s edition featuring unique and stunning pieces of jewelry.
Arguably the most famous Tiffany design is the Tiffany Blue® gift box. This unique color was chosen by Charles Lewis Tiffany for the cover of the Blue Book. Also known as forget-me-not blue, it reflects the popularity of the turquoise gemstone in the 19th-century.
Tiffany & Co in the Movies
Tiffany & Co.’s close association with Hollywood has also helped to solidify their place in popular culture. The brand has been featured in several iconic films over the years, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Audrey Hepburn, Sweet Home Alabama, with Reese Witherspoon and The Great Gatsby.
The Most Famous Tiffany Designs
Whether you’re a fan of their jewelry, their silver designs, or their place in popular culture, there’s no denying that Tiffany & Co. is one of the most iconic jewelry brands in the world. With a rich history and a commitment to excellence, it’s no wonder that Tiffany & Co. has been able to maintain their position at the top for so many years.
This is in large part due to their close collaboration with artists and innovative jewelry designers such as Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso and Jean Schlumberger. Even Andy Warhol made a design for Tiffany & Co. – a hand-drawn Christmas card in 1954, and famous architect Frank Gehry created a limited edition range for them in 2006.
The following designs represent some of Tiffany & Co’s most recognizable work.
1. Tiffany Diamond Engagement Ring
The Tiffany diamond engagement ring is an enduring classic. What’s more, the Tiffany Setting is perhaps the most iconic of all Tiffany designs. Launched in 1886, it features a brilliant-cut solitaire diamond set in six prongs, and is considered the quintessential engagement ring.
This setting enables the diamond to float above the band and accentuates the stone’s brilliance. All Tiffany & Co. diamonds are ethically sourced.
2. Tiffany Yellow Diamond
This stunning diamond was discovered in 1877 in the Kimberley mine, South Africa and has been a part of the Tiffany legacy ever since. It weighs in at 128.54 carats in cut form but was a mighty 287.42 carats in the rough.
One of the most famous diamonds in the world, it was purchased by Charles Lewis Tiffany, cut by his gemologist George Frederic Kunz and mounted by Jean Schlumberger.
The Tiffany yellow diamond is thought to have only been worn by four women. Firstly, by Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse to the 1957 Tiffany Ball, and next by Audrey Hepburn for promotional photos for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
In 2019, Lady Gaga famously wore the iconic diamond at the Academy Awards. The latest appearance of this precious stone was for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s campaign for Tiffany & Co. in 2021. A replica of the yellow diamond is worn by actress Gal Gadot in the 2022 movie Death on the Nile.
3. Jackie Kennedy Tiffany Brooch
Worn by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy on the inauguration day of John F. Kennedy, this beautiful Tiffany brooch features two berries and leaves. There are 80 rubies totaling 9.15 carats and 37 diamonds totaling 1.04 carats.
The brooch was a gift from JFK to Jackie on the birth of their son, John F. Kennedy Jr. She was a fan of Jean Schlumberger designs for Tiffany and owned several other pieces such as his Paillonne enamel bracelets. These came to be known as Jackie bracelets over time.
Nowadays, the elegant brooch is one of the star pieces in the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
4. Return to Tiffany™ Heart Tag Bracelet
The Return to Tiffany™ line was created in the 1960s and was inspired by a 1969 keyring. It is characterized by its simple, yet elegant designs.
The collection features the iconic “Return to Tiffany™” heart tag, which has become a symbol of the brand. In particular, the Return to Tiffany™ Heart Tag Charm Bracelet is in high demand. This famous design may be engraved with the wearer’s initials by hand or by machine.
5. Tanzanite Brooch
It’s a little known fact that Tiffany & Co. actually introduced the tanzanite gemstone to the public. This dazzling blue gemstone was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967.
Tiffany & Co. was the first jewelry company to feature the gemstone in its collections in 1968 onwards. Since then, it has become one of the jewelry company’s most iconic gemstones.
The tanzanite, emerald, gold and diamond brooch below was created by American jewelry designer Donald Claflin in 1968. The tanzanite stone weighs over 47 carats.
6. Bone Bangle
Elsa Peretti is one of the most famous jewelry designers of all time. Originally a Halston model who was photographed by Helmut Newton, she soon began to make jewelry for the jet set. Peretti’s designs took inspiration from everyday objects such as apples and beans, as well as animals such as snakes.
Elsa once said ‘there is no new design, because good lines and shapes are timeless.’ She designed more than three dozen collections for Tiffany & Co.
The “bone cuff” bracelet is thought to have been inspired by Elsa’s visits to the Capuchin crypt in Rome. This Italian edifice is lined with thousands of human bones. It was also a homage to her close friend Salvador Dali.
The bone bangle was one of the most coveted pieces from her first Tiffany & Co. collection. Liza Minelli was a big fan of this design, which is still going strong today.
Elsa believed that jewelry should be available at a wide range of price points. Her Diamonds by the Yard collection revolutionized the way diamonds were worn. These bezel-set diamonds set on fine chains weren’t brought out just for special events, they were meant to be worn everyday.
7. Dragonfly Brooch
Designed by Julia Munson in 1904 under the direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany, this stunning brooch is made from platinum, gold, demantoid garnets and black opals. Julia Munson was hired by Louis to assist him with enamelling and in time she headed up the enamelling department at Tiffany & Co.
Inspired by Japanese art, her series of delicate dragonfly brooches, clover blossom tiaras, grapevine necklaces and dandelion hair ornaments captured the beauty of nature. Unfortunately, Julia’s extraordinary career as one of the company’s top designers came to an end when she got married at age 39.
8. Open Heart Pendant
Created by famed Italian designer Elsa Peretti, the open heart range embodies the spirit of love. Peretti’s designs such as the open-heart pendants make beautiful gifts.
The collection includes earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants and bangles. There are also luxurious baby gifts such as a feeding spoon in sterling silver.
9. Tiffany Studios Leaded Glass Lamps
Designed by Clara Driscoll for Louis Comfort Tiffany, these naturalistic creations were produced in Queens, New York for almost 40 years. Known for their vibrant colors, genuine Tiffany lamps feature opalescent cut glass and a bronze tree base.
There are many cheap imitation Tiffany lamps, but an original Tiffany lamp can set you back as much as $500,000 at auction. These days Tiffany & Co. no longer produce Tiffany lamps, so make sure to check the provenance before buying one.
10. Paloma’s Studio Graffiti Pendant
This line of jewelry, designed by Paloma Picasso, daughter of legendary artist Pablo Picasso, is characterized by its bold and modern designs. Tiffany has been collaborating with Picasso since 1979, and the Paloma Picasso jewelry designs remain among the most popular offered by the company.
There are several different lines created by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany:
- Paloma’s Graffiti
- Paloma’s Melody
- Paloma Picasso® Olive Leaf
- Paloma’s Studio
In Conclusion: Most Famous Tiffany Designs
One of the most famous luxury brands in the United States, Tiffany & Co. is known for its legendary designs that have stood the test of time. Although the company has been through many changes, one thing has remained the same: its reputation for high-quality and distinctive jewelry designs featuring precious metals and rare gemstones.
If you’re looking for more information on famous jewelry designers, be sure to check out our other style articles. And now that you know a bit more about Tiffany & Co., maybe the brand’s jewelry will hold an even greater meaning for you the next time you see it.