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