Charles Lewis Tiffany, The Setting And A Romantic Icon

As LVMH has just acquired the emblematic Tiffany’s house for 14,7 billion euros, let’s go back to the icon of the world’s most popular jewellers!

The story of the Tiffany’s & Co jeweller starts in the middle of the 19th century when Charles Lewis Tiffany borrows $ 1000 from his father to open a small stationary and gift shop in the centre of Manhattan. Very quickly, the store became a must-visit for elegant women looking for something more discreet. At the time fashion was made in the style of Victorian opulence, and for jewels that translated to huge gems mounted on even larger rings. 

The attraction for the Tiffany boutique came from the Charles Lewis’ completely different approach – the man liked using 92% pure metal and at the same time traveled the world and exhibitions in search for the most precious gems. The jeweller thus chose diamonds and rubies over their brilliance instead of carats. It is thus that in 1867 he received international recognition by winning the grand prix de l’artisanat for silver at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. However, the story of the Setting – absolute icon of the Tiffany’s & Co repertoire – appears some twenty years later.

In 1886 then, the fashion for jewellery is still in the Victorian style – heavy decorations and engravings almost suffocating the sparkle of the stones. Charles Lewis Tiffany wanted to change the equation. What he is looking for is a more discrete way to allow the treasures shine without fail – Charles Lewis Tiffany wants the gem only and that the only gem dazzles the world! He imagines the Setting – a ring that elevates the stone ; six prongs that lift it to maximise its fire and brightness. With as little metal as possible, the founder of Tiffany’s & Co managed to put the stone in its best light. Better, the diamond rises almost as if it is floating above the metal… the Setting is born and would soon become anchored in the collective imagination. 

The setting became the ideal for engagement rings, so much so did the jewel manage to capture all the splendour and shine of pure diamond. Charles Lewis Tiffany’s innovation also allowed the creation of an engagement ring that would become the symbol of love and devotion – a simple ring that hides nothing and allows the brightness and sublime nature of the stone to shine through. In 2016, the ring loses nothing of its grandeur. At the occasion of Tiffany’s 130th birthday it was honoured in all its pertinence. All along its history, the Tiffany setting has in fact maintained and embellished its original design: a brilliant cut diamond supported by six platinum prongs. Nothing more, nothing less for a ring fashioned as a figure of unchangeable love. 

The Tiffany Setting in a few key dates:

The iconic engagement ring, the Tiffany Setting became the testimony for eternal love. 

2017 : Jennifer Lawrencewore a revisited version of the classing Tiffany while attending the Mostra event in Venice

2017 : Ophélie Guillermand poses for Tiffany & Co’s  “Will you?” campaign with the Tiffany Setting

2017 : The Tiffany Setting is at the heart of a new advertisement campaign, “Believe in Love”

2016 : The “I will” campaign puts forward the savoir-faire of the artisans working of the Tiffany Setting under the camera lens of artistic director Keith Ehrlich 

2016 : The house celebrates its 130th birthday by creating a limited edition of the Tiffany Setting in 130 units and in different declinations

2016 : For her wedding, Bridget Jones choses the Tiffany Setting 

2015 : On the red carpet of the Golden Globes – Amy Adams wears the Tiffany Setting 

Spring 2015 : Cora Emmanuel poses for the “Will you?” campaign with the Tiffany Setting 

2015 : To celebrate their love, Ashton Kutcher offers Mila Kunis the Tiffany Setting as an engagement ring

2014 : The video campaign “This is a Tiffany ring” puts forward the Tiffany Setting

2013 : Tiffany & Co launches a new jewellery line for The Great Gatsby that includes a “vintage” engagement ring, considered as the Tiffany Setting that Carey Mulligan wears in the film 

2013 : The engagement ring that Kim Kardashian wears is a Tiffany Setting, she notably wears it on the red carpet of the “Tao Nightclub” for her 34th birthday 

2011 : Lee Pace plays the role of the perfect fiancé and offers Laetitia Casta a beautiful Tiffany Setting for the maison’s new campaign 

February 2011 : On the Academy Award’s red carpet in Hollywood, Anne Hathaway wears a Tiffany Setting

2009 : The Tiffany Setting makes its appearance in the film Bride Wars

2007 : The Tiffany Novo diamond appears as a homage to the Tiffany Setting diamond

2000 : Sex and the City’s Charlotte is offered a Tiffany Setting by Trey in the third season

1999 : Tiffany’s & Co launches a new diamond size under the name Tucida

1926 : The United States adopt a new purity norm of Tiffany (95 percent) as an official national norm for platinum 

1887 : Charles Lewis Tiffany buys the jewels of the French crown to create the Tiffany Setting

1886 : Charles Lewis Tiffany creates the magnificent Tiffany Setting

The Tiffany Blue – Colour Of Love

As LVMH has just acquired the emblematic Tiffany’s house for 14,7 billion euros, let’s go back to colour emblematic of the Tiffany’s universe: Tiffany blue, or the adored colour. 

Since its creation in 1845, Tiffany & Co has defined the canons of elegance, celebrated the most beautiful romances, sealed the most sincere loves with utmost sophistication. It is at the heart of the blue coloured box now become iconic that are nestled the highly desirable jewels. All over the world, the blue Tiffany box has become a reference – a sign the literally makes the heart flutter. “I believe that there was first a willingness to symbolise an idea of optimism, energy and New York. Love. It is even proved by entirely serious scientific studies that when you expose men and women to this blue box – the heart beats about 20% more quickly. Which is stupefying!” Underlined the previous general director of the house, Frédéric Cumenal, in 2014. 

Selected by the founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for the cover of the very first Blue Book – the exquisite collection of artisanal jewels by the house – the colour transformed itself into a universal sign of luxury and voluptuousness.. A tint that evokes the escapism, calm and freshness of an aquatic setting: the  Tiffany blue is all of that at once. In 1906 already, the New York Sun reported: Tiffany posses, in his store, something that he will refuse to sell you no matter the amount of money you offer. This thing, and he will insist to give you one, is one of his boxes”. 

Even today, the simple sight on one of these boxes arouses in all of us the feeling of a great gift. Through this blue, eminently complicated to receive, Tiffany & Co captures in reality the ambitious dream of a desirable world of legends. A world where clients fond of charm and magic are adorned by the marvels of the jewels. Yes, the blue box of Tiffany’s encloses much more than a treasure – it signals the excellence of the house’s master artisans as well as man’s eternal love for beauty!

The Tiffany Blue in a few key dates

The years pass but the Tiffany’s house continues to carry promises and dreams through its legendary Tiffany Blue

2018 : For its spring campaign, Tiffany’s shows Elle Fanning coming out of a black and white world and diving into a world covered in blue 

2018 : A new blue-dialled watch, the Tiffany Micro Watch, is launched for sale

2018 : In relation to the Greenhouse Project, Marilyn Minter creates a house filled with silver Tiffany jewels on which the colour blue is reflected 

2017 : The Christmas campaign, Tiffany Christmas, puts to the forefront the little blue box 

2017 :  During the presidential transfer Melania Trump offered Michelle Obama a Tiffany’s gift, recognisable by the blue box

2017 : On the fourth floor of its New York flagship, Tiffany’s opens its Blue Box Café

2017 : Tiffany’s edits a new Blue Book

2016 : After the annual Blue Book edition, a Blue Book Gala is organised

2015 : The new Blue Book is remarkable –  made spectacular by the Turquoise Necklace

2015 : The Christmas campaign, Joy comes out from the Blue, puts forward the blue box

2014 : The Tiffany & Co house patents the famous blue box

2014 : A new blue-tinted Tiffany & Co boutique opens on the Champs Elysées

2014 : Valeria Garcia creates a Christmas campaign putting forward the Blue Tiffany 

2013 : A third edition of the Blue Book is edited, present many pieces in Tiffany Blue and makes the occasion for a Gala

2013 : For its Christmas campaign, A Very Tiffany Holiday, the house puts forward once again the value of the blue box – but this time revisited with a red ribbon 

2013 : The Rockefeller Centre is lit up in blue for the Blue Book Call and a giant blue Tiffany box is exhibited in the front 

2013 : For its 175th birthday, the house creates a series of rings set with a fancy intense bluish-green diamond of 2,51 carats

2011 : In its Christmas campaign, Blue is the colour of dream, Tiffany’s puts forward only its pretty blue box

2010 : The Christmas campaign, Have yourself a Marry little Christmas, Tiffany’s puts forward in particular its blue box

2009 : The Christmas campaign, Give voice to your heart, has the famous blue box as its centre piece

2002 : In the film, Sweet Home Alabama, Patrick Dempsey makes the most romantic of proposals to Reese Witherspoon in a Tiffany’s boutique amidst blue boxes

1961 : Tiffany & Co launches a guide on etiquette with the cover in the famous blue colour

1906 : Charles Lewis Tiffany declares that all Tiffany products must be sold in their blue box and that all blue Tiffany boxes can only be obtained through the purchase of a Tiffany Jewel

1897 : A second edition of the Blue Book is edited 

1889 :  During the Paris Exposition Universelle, a blue Tiffany pavilion is mounted

1845 : A pouch, bag, and case come to complete the packaging 

1845 : Charles Lewis Tiffany chooses to deposit the Tiffany Blue at Pantone 

1845 : A first edition of the Blue Book is published 

1837 : The first Tiffany’s jewels are already sold in a little blue box 


Nature By Chaumet

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Founded at 12 Vendome Square, Chaumet quickly began to represent high-end Parisian jewellery. The foundation of the iconic “Maison” shares links with France’s history, almost coinciding with Napoleon’s arrival to power – from then on the precious art of jewellery had a high-profile admirer in the figure of the Empress Joséphine. It must be said that Chaumet’s expertise can bring out the beauty of nature with extraordinary skill. Slender stalks, voluminous lilies, light leaves, wild plants… Nature is celebrated here through extraordinary skill which is focused on creating charming pieces. Through moving beyond the tension between nature and culture, the Chaumet workshops were able to combine the most extreme wild inspirations with refinement! This is a naturalism which is at the very foundation of high-end jewellery. 

Since its foundation, Chaumet has offered us the marvellous vision of a free, generous natural world! The workshops at Vendome Square have in this way developed an unequalled skill – virtuosity capable of tracing the fabulous history of the natural world through subtle, precious pieces. A bountiful and endless source of inspiration, the natural world anchors Chaumet in a union with the past, present and future. The designers have always chosen garden plants, but also woodland and fields… laurels, wheat, oak trees and lilies are prized assets of the company. The master craftspeople then translate the grace of these symbols with their extraordinarily sophisticated jewellery. 

The natural world loans their designs, its colours and complexities to Chaumet’s fine jewellery. A symbolic garden where different elements agree with one another… A freshly cut branch is brought to life with a tied ribbon. A simple ear of wheat is transformed into a polished gold ring, encrusted with brilliant diamonds… Ivy becomes a bracelet with leaves covered in enamel, diamonds and fine baroque pearls – a creation which dates back to 1847. And it is through transmitting the trademark Chaumet excellence from one master craftsman to another for more than 230 years that the Maison is in a position to raise a simple plant to the status of a jewel… A marvellous story, eminently iconic! 

Nature by Chaumet

2018: For the first time, Chaumet take part in an exhibition in Tokyo for the “The World of Chaumet” in which the ear of wheat is predominant, as seen with the ear of wheat tiara

2018: The designers put forward the “Épi de Blé” ring available in 40 different versions.

2018: Chaumet launch the Youtube video campaign “Summer Spirit”, with videos focusing on the elements: such as wind, water, and sun.

2018: Chaumet revisit the “Bee My Love” collection, with Hannah Quinlivan featuring as a model. 

2018: In its latest experiment Chaumet aims to explore the natural charms of Africa, incorporating animals such as fish.

2017: The “Gaité Parisienne” collection features many pieces which present a link to nature and the elements. 

2017: Chaumet invites students to submit designs for a “tiara of the 21st century” – many of which incorporate nature symbols such as blossoming flowers and leaves. 

2016: Chaumet launches its “Nature de Chaumet” campaign which features an array of wild plants and unique nature oriented designs. 

2016: Chaumet produces an iconic piece with the “Offrandes d’été” ring, set with a pear-shaped diamond.

2016: Natacha Régnier wears the Hortensia earing collection on the red carpet at the 69th Cannes’ Film Festival.

2016: Bérénice Béjo walks the red carpet at Cannes’ Film Festival wearing a bracelet and earrings from the “Lumiéres d’Eau” collection.

2016: Rebecca Hall graces the 69th Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet sporting Hortensia earrings.

2016: Michelle Yeoh wears a ring, a bracelet and a necklace from the “Lumières d’Eau” collection at the 69th Cannes’ Film Festival.

2016: Alice Isaaz lit up the red carpet at the 69th Cannes’ Film Festival with earing and a bracelet from the Hortensia “Aube Rosée” collection. 

2016: Chaumet launch the Hortensia collection entitled “Voie Lactée”, featuring a range of nature oriented pieces. 

2015: Chaumet open an Ephemeral Museum under the name of “Bucolique Promenade”, featuring an array of naturistic designs and pieces.

2015: Chaumet release a new line with the “Épi de Blé” (Ear of Wheat) as its centrepiece. It includes marvellous rings, necklaces and bracelets.

2015: Chaumet launches a new “Hortensia” collection. 

2015: Chaumet produce a magnificent “Épi de Blé” brooch in limited-edition, available in yellow gold set with diamonds.

2015: Hannah Quinlivan is decorated in extravagant Chaumet pieces for her 2015 wedding in Taipei.

2011: A new “Bee My Love” collection is put forward. 

1970: Chaumet produces an iconic naturistic design with their timeless heat clip on earrings and earrings in rubies and diamonds.

1915: Chaumet continue to improve their nature designs, sketching a new wheat tiara.

1909: The Maison produces another tiara piece, with their pair of wheat and reed brooches, which could be worn as a tiara.

1890: The designers produce a sketch for a wheat and poppy necklace, incorporating the natural world at the centre of their vision.

1812: The house of the Chaumet master craftspeople at 12 Vendome Square, in Paris, is purchased by Francois-Regnault Nitot, son of the Chaumet’s founder. 

1811: Chaumet use the ear of wheat design for the first time with the unique tiara created for Empress Marie Louise.

1780: The Parisian jewellery icon Chaumet is founded.

THE TIFFANY KEYS, EMBLEMATIC CREATIONS

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Ever since its foundation by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837, the company which took after his name has aimed to produce symbols of elegance – the Tiffany elegance marvellously befits the love stories which their products often seal. Against the background of an exceptional heritage, the complete works of Tiffany & Co. includes some iconic products, pieces from artists such as Jean Schlumberger and Paloma Picasso. It must be noted that at the dawn of the 20th century, Charles Lewis Tiffany purchased a collection of unrivalled precision – the jeweller effectively bought the jewels of the French Crown. Diamonds of a flawless source and an unequalled brilliance; gems with a breathtakingly beautiful colour – Tiffany attire are a marvellously opulent colour, cut with the precision and subtlety which is sought after by the rich and famous.

Tiffany & Co.’s masterpieces are creations marked with the stamp of their creativity. Through this creativity coupled with the skill of their craftsmen, a great number of the pieces thought up in Tiffany workshops have sealed the most beautiful romances. So when, in 2009, the company which pioneered the little blue box produced the Tiffany Keys collection, it allowed customers the freedom to mix between chains and pendants to their hearts’ desire! And the pieces quickly became the trace, or even the symbol of wisdom, joy and optimism. These emblematic creations, sometimes speckled with rubies, sometimes enhanced with diamonds, have the elegance and grace of an item which can stand the test of time…

Yes, the Tiffany Keys are a promise of a bright future! The pieces are dazzling and timeless, and the fascinating array of this collection captures all the beauty of the key-design – wearing only one or several. Tiffany Keys are emblematic creations of eternal beauty, the results of truly masterful work… Independence, trust and power; this is a piece rich with the philosophy of the legendary jeweller of the Fifth Avenue.

 

Some key dates for the Tiffany Keys:

Tiffany Keys are no ordinary keys; they create magic and open doors to a bright future. 

2018: Tiffany & Co. collaborates with DFS

2017: The company pays tribute to the Tiffany Keys with the “Master Key”.

2017: Elle Fanning promotes a revisited edition of the Tiffany Keys as part of a new campaign.

2016: The “Legendary Style” campaign promotes Tiffany’s most iconic pieces, among them the Tiffany Keys.

2016: Elle Fanning produces the Autumn-Winter campaign for Tiffany & Co, with Tiffany keys at the centre of the campaign.

2015: Yet another video campaign which promotes Tiffany Keys.

2015: Tiffany Keys feature in an advertisement campaign alongside Crista Cober, Liu Wen and Saara Sihvonen.

2014: Tiffany & Co. promote their signature keys in a campaign aptly entitled “Unlock the Possibilities”

September 2012: For the première of the film The Perks of Being the Wallflower, Emma Watson wore a Tiffany Key.

2011: During the Mercedes-Benz fashion week the actress Jennifer Love Hewitt wore a Tiffany Key on the red carpet.

2010: Tiffany publishes a video advertisement, Through the Keyhole, dedicated to its Key Collection.

2010: Jessica Michibata, a Japanese model, wore a Tiffany Key on the red carpet in Tokyo.

2009: The Fleur de Lys design becomes a best-seller.

2009: Tiffany put forward their exciting new Tiffany Keys design.

1880: The Tiffany Key design dates back to a vintage set of keys, the oldest of which was made in the 1880s.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ “Cadenas” (Padlock)

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If the history of Van Cleef & Arpels began at the beginning of the last century, this high-end Parisian jewellery company never ceased to amaze the world through their magnificent compositions. One of the first jewellers to be headquartered in Vendome Square in 1906 was able, from an early stage, to support their craftsmanship with a clear imagination. Between 1920 and 1940 marked a particular turn for the designers – when Renée Puissant, the daughter of the founders, took control of the artistic direction, she then tasked René Sim Lacaze, artist, with designing the aesthetics of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The key piece of their new repertoire – the padlock-watch, the perfect mix of pragmatism and magnificence. In an era during which women were still subject to some very strange social norms, Van Cleef & Arpels were going to signal these unjust bans with exceptional skill. It was viewed poorly for women to wear a watch, or worse, to check the time in public. Van Cleef & Arpels accordingly decided to highlight this anomaly to the world with a poetic composition – a breath-taking piece; an audacious and cunning padlock-watch. A piece which blurs the lines between jewellery and watchmaking!

Made like a bracelet, the padlock watch conceals a watch-face for whichever elegant lady is wearing it. In 1935, a classic was born! A symbol of a union, the padlock marries the world’s most precious substances with a refined design – the absolute chef d’oeuvre, the original model was poured in a cast of gold. The rectangular lines of the lock’s casing balance out the baroque style of the serpent like chains which act as a bracelet. The strap merges in with the rounded edges of the padlock. Conceived in this way, the Van Cleef & Arpels watch integrates a watch face which allows the lady wearing it to check the time discreetly! The marvellous piece was notably visible on the wrist of Catherine Deneuve in the film “The Last Metro”. An icon through symbolism…

The Van Cleef & Arpels “Cadenas”, Key Dates:

2017: The company now offers a model of the padlock enhanced with rubies. 

2015: The Van Cleef & Arpels “Cadenas” watch stole the show at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.

2015 – Present: The new range is as varying as it is beautiful, with the likes of pink sapphires, rose gold and diamond featuring. It also features three models which are encrusted with diamonds.

2015: In 2015 Van Cleef & Arpels released nine stunning new models.

1980: Nine new models of the padlock watch are released.

1936: A “cadenas” watch found in the inventory of the Duchess of Windsor was dated with a message for the year 1936.

1935: The first designs for the classic padlock watch are put together.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra, Good Fortune for All Eternity

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While French society was in a complete boom-time, Van Cleef & Arpels’ workshops at Vendome Square were preparing to give the world a piece which was very much of that era. The year was 1968, the Alhambra collection was constructed from a timeless symbol of luck – a four-leaved clover with minimalist lines, refined to look like an ordinary clover. The whole aim of the piece was clear; the revolution of the 70s was before all else a revolution with more elegant esthetics which were slightly less tacky. 

“Created by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1968, in keeping with its tradition of excellence and savoir-faire, the Alhambra long necklace captured the spirit of the age and introduced new ways of wearing jewels in everyday life. Fifty years later, it stands as a reference that has profoundly influenced the history of jewellery” outlined Nicolas Bos, the current president of Van Cleef & Arpels. 

Accordingly the piece was thought of as a break away from more traditional pieces – loaded with precious jewels – the Alhambra is moulded in gold, simple and light, exceptionally refined! “It’s impossible to say what the exact origins of the quatrefoil motif. It is not abstract nor figurative, it is obviously a reference to the motif which can be easily found in the gardens of Alhambra in Grenada, but it also evokes a four leaf clover which Jacques Arpels could have proposed himself, it’s very superstitious” explains Catherine Cariou, director of Patrimoine. This was the first piece of this collection to catch people’s interest, the yellow gold chain decorated with white nacre became the symbol of this new elegant piece. 

And the ravishing allure of the piece did not take long to win over Francoise Hardy, Grace Kelly or even Romy Schneider… but the one who incontrovertibly raised the Alhambra to the status of an indispensable icon of international jewellery was Elizabeth Taylor. Her edition of the Alhambra chain was the most expensive ever purchased at an auction. Her edition, in rock crystal, the rarest adaptation to date, was sold for 470 000 dollars at Christie’s in 2012. Today the Alhambra icon is celebrating its 50th birthday! An opportunity, for Van Cleef & Arpels to introduce new versions – with editions being proposed in diamond and rose gold, diamond and white gold, grey nacre or onyx… 

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra, some key dates

2018: The company enhanced its range of watches, adding the Sweet Alhambra, available in fifty different pieces.

2018: To celebrate its fiftieth birthday, Van Cleef & Arpels produced 4 models of the Alhambra available in limited edition. 

2018: On its fiftieth birthday, the photographer Damian Foxe declared his love for the motive.  

2017: An auction with Christie’s jewellery store sells an Alhambra piece for treble the expected value, showing that the design continues to surpass expectations. 

2016: The company produced a “making-of” for its Alhambra production. This is accompanied by a promotional video of its new wooden Alhambra edition

2016: Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra is appraised positively by BRP Luxury

2013: For the Alhambra’s 45th birthday a malachite version was released.

2012: For the holiday season, Van Cleef & Arpels release the Vintage Alhambra Holiday Season Limited Edition pendant, with a beautiful single diamond at its heart.

2012: New editions available in wood, or in rose gold, are released – to critical acclaim.

2012: For its Winter Campaign Van Cleef & Arpels highlight the Alhambra motif with a marvellous new necklace as part of the Twinkling Magic Alhambra promotional video.

2011:     Elizabeth Taylor’s collection, which is put up for sale, in includes Alhambra pieces. An Alhambra chain sells for an estimated € 47 500.

2011: Princess Charlene of Monaco sports a Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra. 

2010 – present: Camille Grammer, star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, features in several episodes wearing an Alhambra necklace.  

2008: In 2008, during the fortieth year since its creation, Van Cleef & Arpels launched its Perlée collection (some of which are adorned with the Alhambra clover). 

2007: The Sweet Alhambra collection is released, featuring hearts and butterflies in very vivid colours. 

2006: To mark the centenary of the company in 2006, new Alhambra designs are launched, among other new products which mark the occasion. 

2001: After the turn of the millennium the Pure Alhambra collection is launched.

1998: Van Cleef & Arpels produce a collection of Alhambra watches.

1983: Models are created in grey nacre and are taking the market by storm to this day.

1975: Princess Grace of Monaco wears the iconic Alhambra design.

1974: Romy Schneider wears the iconic Alhambra necklace piece.

1974: Legendary French actor Françoise Hardy wears an Alhambra for a photo-shoot.

1973: It is said that Prince Rainier first gifted Grace of Monaco with an Alhambra chain in this year.

1968: The first Alhambra collection is embarked upon, made as lucky charms and taking its inspiration from a previous Touch Wood series.

 

The Van Cleef & Arpels Zip Necklace

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Invented in the 19th century, in the United States, the zip is aimed at quickly closing the boots and clothes of marines and pilots. In 1938, the zipper was going to be given a whole new life through the creation of Van Cleef & Arpels masterful new piece. The Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, suggested to Renée Puissant, the artistic manager of the company at that time, to craft a piece using the zipper. A product of the technical genius of the jeweller, and after 13 years of work, the very first Zip necklace was on the shelves in 1950 – brilliant diamonds and a ringlet mounted on platinum, the icon was immediately established!

This is a chameleon piece. A work of a master craftsman which, being adjustable can be worn openly around the neck, or closed firmly around the wrist. The workshops also took care to mould the flexibility of the object – in order to guarantee that it would fall perfectly, tracing the fluidity of female movement with an infallible grace. Worn as a lengthy chain or a shortened choker necklace, this flagship model carries the reputation of the company to this day. For that reason the Zip is made from an exceptional alloy… Beginning with an entirely functional object, intended to be hidden, Van Cleef & Arpels take a unique twist on an everyday device to create a magisterial piece of jewellery. It is the first piece which truly shows the growing influence of Haute Couture in high end jewellery, the Van Cleef & Arpels Zip was able to master the marriage between metals and precious stones like no other piece could. 

Rubies, emeralds or sapphires… the most current versions of the iconic necklace a running a little wild; filling themselves with multi-coloured sapphires, lapis-lazuli, turquoise and chrysoprase, pearls or white mother-of-pearl dial… Constructed with the same attentiveness that a dressmaker might have with his/her fabrics, the Zip necklace still shows the skill of Van Cleef & Arpels “Mains d’Or”. A masterful piece which lacks neither charm nor attraction – undoubtedly one of the most desirable items of our time! 

 

 

2015: Margot Robbie wears an iconic Van Cleef & Arpels zip necklace to the 2015 Oscars. Her love for the piece is clear as she claims ““The necklace is worth more than my life!”.

2012: Van Cleef & Arpels advertise the transferability of the zip necklace as a wrist bracelet. 

2011: Van Cleef & Arpels launch a stunning new set of four zip necklaces from their headquarters in Paris.

2006: Van Cleef & Arpel release a luxurious version of an old classic: the Paris Champs de Mars zip necklace.

1954: A revisited zip necklace is released: a stunning yellow gold piece set with diamonds and rubies.

1950: The zip necklace first hit the shelves.

1938: The Duchess of Windsor suggested creating a piece based on the zip fastener, which was destined for stardom.

1925: The first example of zippers being used on commercially marketed clothing appeared around 10 years after it was invented.

1917: One of the earliest designs produced for a modern day zipper was submitted for patent. It was labelled as a “Separable Fastener”.

1906: Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery company is founded.

Tiffany Blue, the Color of Love

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Since its foundation in 1845, Tiffany & Co. has set the standards of elegance, celebrated the most beautiful romances, sealed the most sincere love stories in exceptionally sophisticated attire. And it is at the heart of a mystical blue box that the most desirable jewelry found its niche. All across the world, the blue Tiffany box has become a symbol – a sign which, literally, makes one’s heart skip a beat. 

“I believe there was firstly a desire to symbolize that idea of optimism, energy and New-York love. It has been proven, for that matter, by scientific studies which were conducted seriously, that when you show women or men this blue box their heart beats 20% faster. Which is astounding!” explained a previous chief executive of the company, Frédéric Cumenal, in 2014.

Chosen by the founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for the cover of the first ever Blue Book – the exquisite collection of hand-crafted jewelry from the company – the color then evolved into a worldwide sign of luxury and delight. A hue which evokes the escape, calm and freshness of the sea; the Tiffany blue is indeed all these things at once. In 1906 already, the New York Sun reported: “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. And that is one of his boxes.”

To this day, merely seeing one of these boxes can provoke the feeling of a spectacular gift in anybody. Through this prestigious blue, Tiffany & Co. really capture the big dreams of a world which hopes for legends. A world where jewelry and fine attire fulfill the clients’ desire for charm, and add greater wonder. Indeed, Tiffany’s blue box contains more than a treasure – it signals the excellence of the master craftsmen of the company, and at the same time it encapsulates mankind’s undying love for that which is beautiful!  

 

The Tiffany Blue, Some Key Dates

Years pass but the Tiffany & Co. label continues to keep promises and dreams through their legendary Tiffany Blue.

 

2018: For the spring campaign, Tiffany & Co. show Elle Fanning leaving a world of black and white to dive into a world of blue. 

2018: A new watch in blue, The Tiffany Micro Watch is now available.

2018: As a part of the Greenhouse Project, Marilyn Minter creates a house filled with Tiffany jewelry reflecting the color blue.

May 2018: Tiffany & Co. aim to bring their trademark Tiffany Blue to the streets of New York city in honor of an iconic collection.

2017: As part of the Christmas campaign Tiffany again promote the iconic blue box.

2017: During the presidential inauguration last year Malania Trump gifted Michelle Obama with a Tiffany box.

2017: Located on the 4th floor of the New York flagship store, Tiffany & Co. present their Blue Box Café.

2017: “Imagination and creativity explode” in the 2017 Blue Book.

2017: Tiffany & Co. host a Blue Book Gala.

2015: The Tiffany campaign “Joy Comes Out of the Blue” promotes the blue box once again.

2014: Tiffany & Co. patent the famous blue box.

2013: A 2013 Blue Book is released, with several pieces presented in Tiffany Blue.

2013: During its 2013 campaign, A Very Tiffany Holiday, the company yet again promoted the blue box but this time with a twist: a gorgeous red bow. 

2013: The 1837 collection in honor of the company’s 175th anniversary features several Tiffany Blue pieces.

2013: The Rockefeller Center was lit in blue for the Blue Book Ball and a giant blue Tiffany box was opened at the site.

2011: It the 2011 Christmas campaign, Blue is the color of dream, Tiffany & Co. put their iconic blue box center stage once again.

2010: The Have yourself a Merry little Christmas campaign in 2010 put a particular emphasis on the pretty blue box.

2002: In the film, Sweet Home Alabama Patrick Dempsey proposed to Reese Witherspoon in the most romantic of ways, in a Tiffany store filled with little blue boxes.

2009: The 2009 campaign, Give voice to your heart, again celebrates with the iconic box.

1998: Tiffany & Co. trademarks the iconic shade of blue.

1906: Charles Lewis Tiffany decides that every Tiffany product must be sold in a blue box and equally that an authentic Tiffany blue box can only be obtained through purchasing a Tiffany product.

1897: A second edition of the Blue Book is released.

1845: The first edition of the Blue Book is published.

1837: The color’s official title is “1837 Blue” in honor of the date of the first sale at Tiffany & Co.

1837: The Tiffany Blue Box is introduced.

 

Charles Lewis Tiffany, the Setting and the Romantic Icon

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The history of the jeweller Tiffany’s & Co began in the middle of the 19th century; when Charles Lewis Tiffany borrowed $1000 from his father in order to open a small stationary shop and a jewellery store in the centre of Manhattan. Quickly the store became a must-visit for stylish men and women who were searching for tasteful attire. It should be noted that Victorian lavishness was in fashion at the time and, for jewellery, that meant large jewels mounted on top of rings which were sized quite large. The appeal of the Tiffany boutique found its niche in the different approach of Charles Lewis – a man who used metal which was 92% pure and travelled the world – visiting many exhibitions searching for the most precious stones. The craftsman would cut diamonds and other rubies according to their brightness, as opposed to the weight of the carats. He received international acclaim when he won the prize for metal crafts at the “Exposition Universelle” in Paris. However the story of the Tiffany Setting, the icon of Tiffany’s & Co repertoire, began about twenty years later.

In 1886 Victorian Era jewellery was still in fashion – heavy decorations and engravings were almost suffocating the brilliance of the stones used. Charles Lewis Tiffany wanted to change this. What he was looking for was a discreet way of allowing his treasures to shine without fail – he wanted the stone and only the stone to captivate the world! He then came up with the Setting: a ring which would raise the jewel, with six brooches to raise it up in order to maximise the light and the shine. Using the least possible amount of metal, the founder of Tiffany’s & Co managed to highlight the brilliance of the diamond. Better still; the diamond is raised up as though it’s floating above the ring… The Setting was born, and the legend of this ring quickly made an impression on the public’s imagination.

The Setting became the perfect item to be offered as a wedding ring, as the piece captures and shows off all the sparkle of a pure diamond. The innovation of Charles Lewis Tiffany is seen by the fact that he succeeded in designing an engagement ring which became the ultimate symbol of love and commitment – a simple ring which hides nothing, which allows only the sublime character of the jewel to shine. And in 2016, the piece had lost none of its greatness. For Tiffany, the 130th anniversary of the ring was an opportunity to honour its continued relevance. Throughout its existence the Tiffany Setting has, in effect, kept up and even embellished its original design: a brilliant cutting edge diamond exhibited by six platinum claws. Nothing more, nothing less, for a ring built in the image of an unchanging love.

 

2018: Tiffany & Co. regard the Setting as “the world’s most iconic engagement ring”.

Winter 2016: Tiffany rings, such as the Setting, continues to be popular among celebrities such as Amal Clooney and Anne Hathaway. 

2016: Bridget Jones chooses the Tiffany Setting as her engagement ring.

2016: The Setting was at the centre of Tiffany & Co.’s advertisement campaign “I will”.

2015: Mila Kunis explains her Tiffany ring is “incredibly beautiful”. 

Spring 2015: Cora Emmanuel poses for the campaign « Will you ? » from the Tiffany company, with a Tiffany Setting.

2014: The video campaign “This is a Tiffany Ring” promotes the Setting

2012: Forbes journalist Jane Lee sees the Setting as “the most sought-after engagement ring style to date”.

2012: Tiffany & Co. detail how the Setting is “classic, stunning” and “sets a standard for true love”.

2011: Laetitia Casta appears in the advertising campaign for the Setting, alongside Lee Pace.    

2009: The Setting makes an appearance in the film Bride Wars.

2007: The Tiffany Novo makes its appearance in the market, in the image of the Tiffany Setting.

2000: Charlotte de Sex and the City is offered a Tiffany Setting by Trey in the third season .

1999: Tiffany launches a new size diamond with the name Lucida.

1887: Charles Lewis Tiffany shocked the world when he purchased the French Crown Jewels in Paris. Many of the featured diamonds and styles became part of Tiffany designs.

1886: Charles Lewis Tiffany creates the magnificent Tiffany Setting