Tiffany & Co. Company History Timeline


1837 Narrow Bangle in Sterling Silver

Tiffany & Co. has a storied history, beginning as a New York-based stationery and fine goods store in 1837.

The company was founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young, in Brooklyn, Connecticut, as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium", with the help of Charles Tiffany's father, who financed the store for only $1,000 with profits from a cotton mill.

Three years later they partnered with Pantone to standardize the color as "1837 Blue".


The store initially sold a wide variety of stationery items and, as of 1838, operated as "Tiffany, Young and Ellis" at 259 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.


In 1844 the company was importing quality Italian and English jewelry, adding to its already well-respected reputation.


The company, which focused very little on gems at the time, published its first catalogue in 1845 that some speculate was the country's first mail-order catalogue.

By 1845 the store was successful enough to discontinue paste (costume jewelry) and begin selling real jewelry, as well as the city's most complete line of stationery.

The first Tiffany mail order catalog, known as the "Blue Book", was published in 1845 in the United States (United States), and publishing of the catalog continues in the 21st century.


Silverware was added in 1847.


When the French monarchy was overthrown in 1848, Young purchased some of the crown jewels and also a bejeweled corset reputed to belong to Marie Antoinette.


In 1850 Tiffany opened another store in Paris and hired John C. Moore, a silversmith, to craft silverware exclusive to Tiffany's and also began manufacturing gold jewelry, aided by the California gold strike in 1850.


He introduced sterling silver to the United States in 1852, a year after contracting John C. Moore to produce silverware exclusively for the company.


In 1853, he took sole control of the company and renamed the company Tiffany & Co.

The name was shortened to Tiffany & Company in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control and established the firm’s emphasis on jewelry.


The most publicized promotional event occurred in 1858 when Tiffany's sold sections of the first transatlantic cable as souvenirs; this generated so much interest that the police were called to keep frenzied buyers in line.


In 1867, Tiffany was the first United States firm to win an award for excellence in silverware at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.


After the war, the company, which was incorporated in 1868, opened a London store that year.


The store, which had been inching uptown with the city itself, moved into a newly constructed, company-owned building adjoining Union Square in 1870.

In 1870, the company built a new store building at 15 Union Square West, Manhattan, which was designed by John Kellum and cost $500,000.


The Tiffany Diamond, discovered in the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa in 1877, is among the world's largest fancy yellow diamonds.


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.

In 1878, the company purchased the Tiffany diamond, an immense canary yellow stone from the new South African deposits.

In 1878, Tiffany won the gold medal for jewelry and a grand prize for silverware at the Paris Exposition.


In 1879, Tiffany purchased one of the world's largest yellow diamonds which became known as the Tiffany Diamond.


Tiffany famously said that he would give anyone a Tiffany & Co. box, as long as they bought a piece of jewelry to put in it.One of Tiffany & Co.’s greatest achievements and most iconic designs dates back to 1886, when they revolutionized the engagement ring with the Tiffany Setting.

In 1886, the Tiffany setting for diamond solitaire rings was introduced.


A diamond, emerald and pearl brooch that was included in Tiffany’s 1887 purchase of the French Crown Jewels.

In 1887, Tiffany bought the French Crown Jewels which attracted publicity and further solidified the Tiffany brand’s connection to quality diamonds.

Soon it was serving as a jeweler, goldsmith, and silversmith to most of the crowned heads of Europe. It was estimated in 1887 that Tiffany's vaults held $40 million in precious stones.


In 1894 a factory was established in New Jersey in Forest Hill, which was later annexed by Newark, for the manufacture of silverware, stationery, and leather goods.


Tiffany's son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, established a special department within the company called Tiffany Art Jewelry in 1902.

Charles Tiffany died in 1902, leaving an estate estimated at $35 million.

In 1902, after the death of Charles Lewis Tiffany, his son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, became the company's first official design director.


Franklin Roosevelt purchased a Tiffany engagement ring for Eleanor Roosevelt in 1904.


In 1905 the store had moved into quarters at Fifth Avenue and 37th Street designed by Stanford White in the form of a Venetian palazzo, and two years later John C. Moore, great-grandson of the silversmith, became president.


Regarding the now familiar Tiffany Blue boxes, the company's Web site quoted a 1906 article in the The New York Sun: "Tiffany has one thing in stock that you cannot buy of him for as much money as you may offer; he will only give it to you.

Jewelry trends may come and go, but one thing that has remained constant since the very beginning is the distinctive Tiffany Blue Box. It was Charles Lewis Tiffany who decreed that the boxes could only be procured with a Tiffany purchase, prompting the New York Times to report in 1906: “Tiffany has one thing in stock that you cannot buy off him for as much money as you may offer, he will only give it to you.


Also in 1940, Tiffany moved uptown for the sixth and last time, to the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, where it put up a $2.5 million Art Deco seven-story building.


In 1942, the Navy established the Tiffany version for non-combat heroism as well but, in August 1942, the Navy subsequently eliminated the Tiffany Cross and the two-medal system.


The Tiffany timepiece that was gifted to President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1945.


Tiffany's fortunes revived somewhat in this period, but in 1949 earnings came to only $19,368.


Denied a seat on the board of directors, Maidman sold his shares in 1955 to the Bulova Watch Co.

1955 To prevent Bulova Watch Co. from taking control, Tiffany heirs and close associates sell Hoving Corp.


1961 Hoving and a group of investors gain control of Tiffany.

Tiffany & Co moved to its current global flagship store on Fifth Avenue, forever associated with Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).


A Tiffany advertisement from the Wall Street Journal in 1966 featuring a necklace set with marquise-cut diamonds.


In 1968 Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States at the time, commissioned Tiffany to design a White House china-service that featured 90 flowers.


The Return to Tiffany® key ring debut in 1969 inspired the most popular and best-selling Tiffany collection worldwide.


Tiffany's catalog (free until 1972) was the first major catalog entirely in color.

Net income passed the $1 million mark in 1972 and reached $2.1 million the following year.


In November 1978, Tiffany & Co. was sold to Avon Products, Inc for about US$104 million in stock.


Hoving remained chairman and chief executive officer until the end of 1980, when he retired.


The company had earned only $984,000 in 1983 on sales of $124.2 million.


In August 1984, Avon sold Tiffany to an investor group led by William R. Chaney for $135.5 million in cash.

However, in a 1984 Newsweek article, the Fifth Avenue Tiffany store was likened to the Macy's department store during a white sale, due to the high number of inexpensive items on sale; furthermore, customers complained about declining quality and service.


Although Tiffany operated retail outlets in London and Paris before World War II, the company did not re-establish stores in Europe post-war until 1986 and accordingly, awareness of the brand is not as high as in the United States or Japan.


"Tiffany," a fragrance, was introduced in 1987 at $220 an ounce and marketed by department stores across the country.

Tiffany went public again in 1987 and raised about $103.5 million from the sale of 4.5 million shares of common stock.


Emphasizing its glitter in 1988, Tiffany displayed, in five of its stores, a collection of 22 individual pieces of jewelry made in its own workshop and valued at more than $10 million.


A Paris workshop decorating hand-painted tableware was acquired in fiscal 1991.


In 1993 Tiffany assumed direct responsibility for sales, merchandising, and marketing at Mitsukoshi's 29 Tiffany boutiques, taking a $32.7 million after-tax charge to buy them and run them on its own.


On September 4, 1994, a jewelry heist occurred at the store in New York City, in which six men stole $1.9 million of jewelry.


In 1999, Hillary Rodham Clinton celebrated the release of a new commemorative silver dollar coin designed by Tiffany & Co.

Realizing that its vertically integrated structure bode well for profits, the company purchased a 14.9 percent stake in Aber Resources in 1999.


Product development is an important part of that strategy, introducing new products such as the Lucida diamond engagement ring, three-stone rings, and band rings, and distributing them worldwide in 2000.

Net earnings rose 31 percent in 2000 and have grown at a 37 percent compound annual growth rate in the past five years.

The year 2000 saw the company raise the quarterly dividend rate for the fifth consecutive year.

Foundation was established in 2000 to provide grants to nonprofit organizations working in the areas of the environment and the arts.


The company's sales dipped by 3.7 percent in 2001, ending the year at $1.60 billion, with net income also decreasing nearly 9 percent to $173.6 million.

The company's new Tiffany Lace collection of platinum and diamond jewelry was exclusively worn by movie star Julia Roberts in the 2001 film Ocean's Eleven.

Plans for 2001 included opening three new boutiques in Japan, one in Melbourne, Australia, one in Sao Paulo, Brazil, one store in Rome and one new London store.

The company moved into the Caribbean market in 2001 when it acquired a 45 percent stake in Little Switzerland, a duty-free retailer based in the United States Virgin Islands.


"tiffany announces plans to open stores in bellevue, st. louis, and orlando." business wire, 8 january 2002.

The company estimates that it will experience moderate 2002 growth of five to nine percent in 2002.

The Canadian firm owned part of the Diavik Diamond Project, a Canadian mine that began producing gem-quality diamonds in 2002.


During 2003, Tiffany launched a new retail concept under the name Temple St Clair.


In June 2004, Tiffany sued eBay, claiming that the latter was making profits from the sale of counterfeit Tiffany products; however, Tiffany lost both at trial and on appeal.

In 2004, Tiffany & Co. began laser engraving their diamonds with a serial number.

In 2004, the company launched another retail concept, this time focusing on pearls.

In 2004, the company opened ten stores and boutiques: four in the United States, three in Japan, one in Taipei, one in Shanghai, and one in London.


On January 28, 2008, a collaboration between the Japanese mobile-phone operator SoftBank and Tiffany & Co. was announced.


In 2009, a collaboration between the Japanese mobile-phone operator SoftBank and Tiffany & Co. was announced.

Also in 2009, the company launched their Tiffany Keys collection.


The Company’s principal product category is jewelry, which represented 91% of the Company’s net sales in 2011.


To celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2012, Tiffany presented the Legacy collection, which incorporated both diamonds and a magnificent selection of colored gemstones.


A media report in early July 2013 revealed that former Tiffany & Co. vice president Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun had been arrested and charged with stealing more than $1.3 million of diamond bracelets, drop earrings, and other jewelry.

Since 2013, Francesca Amfitheatrof has been at the creative helm and, as the first female design director, she is credited with taking Tiffany in a fresh new direction while still retaining the essence of the iconic brand.


In July 2017, it was announced that Bulgari veteran Alessandro Bogliolo would be taking over as CEO. Under his leadership, it was hoped that Tiffany & Co. could turn around slumping sales and capture a younger audience.

Tiffany & Co. opened the Blue Box Cafe in New York City in November 2017.

Also in November 2017, the company launched their Home & Accessories line.


In March 2018, the company opened the Jewelry Design and Innovation Workshop, a new 17,000-square-foot atelier.

In May 2018, Tiffany launched their Paper Flowers Collection, designed by Reed Krakoff.


In August 2019, Tiffany launched their first men's jewelry collection in October of the same year.

In October 2019, Tiffany opened a new brand exhibition in Shanghai, China called "Vision & Virtuosity". Later that month, the company removed an online advertisement after it was accused of portraying support for the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests and potentially jeopardizing its business in China.

In November 2019, LVMH announced its purchase of Tiffany & Co for $16.2 billion, $135 per share.


Tiffany opened its first store in New Delhi, India on 3 February 2020.

Some US$70 million had already been paid by Tiffany, with an additional US$70 million to be paid in November 2020.

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Tiffany & Co. History FAQs

How Old Is Tiffany & Co.?

Tiffany & Co. is 186 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Tiffany & Co.?

Charles Tiffany and John Young founded Tiffany & Co..

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Tiffany & Co. may also be known as or be related to Tiffany & Co, Tiffany & Co., Tiffany & Co. Ltd., Tiffany, Young and Ellis (1837–1853) and Tiffany Co.